FIndings from GECO, The Ghent Eyetracking Corpus of mono- and bilinguals reading an entire book

Duyck, W. 1 , Dirix, N. 1 , Cop, U. 1 , Drieghe, D. 2 , Van Assche, E. 1 & Keuleers, E. 1

1 Ghent University
2 University of Southampton

This paper presents GECO (Ghent Eye-tracking COrpus), the monolingual (English) and bilingual (Dutch-English) eye-tracking corpus of participants reading a complete novel (56000 words). In this talk, we will present descriptive statistics of the most important reading time measures for first-language (L1) and second-language (L2) reading. We will also present in-depth analyses of frequency, neighborhood size and cognate effects for L1 and L2 sentence reading. Results showed smaller frequency effects in L2 than in L1. Both L1 and L2 frequency effects interacted with L1, but not L2 proficiency. Both L1 and L2 reading showed intra- and cross-lingual effects of neighborhood size and cognate status. Also, bilingual L1 reading did not differ from monolingual L1 reading. Our results are consistent with an account of bilingual language processing that assumes an integrated mental lexicon with exposure as the main determiner for lexical entrenchment. Findings will be framed within theories of monolingual and bilingual reading, and relative to the weaker links account of bilingualism. This freely available large eye-tracking corpus is perfectly suited for further exploratory purposes as well as more directed hypothesis testing, and it can guide the formulation of ideas and theories about naturalistic reading processes in a meaningful context.