Friday, September 30th, 2011 [10:50 - 11:50]
OS_05.1 - Homographs processing in sentence context: Inhibitory processes and their time course
Martín, M. C. , Macizo, P. & Bajo, M. T.
University of Granada
This study investigated inhibitory mechanisms in language selection in Spanish-English bilinguals during the processing of interlexical homographs in a sentence context. Recent studies on out-of-context homographs processing have shown cross-language activation, and that inhibitory processes are triggered to select the target meaning (Macizo, Bajo, & Martín, 2010). Moreover, Martín et al. (2010) showed that this inhibitory effect had a transient effect of around five-hundred milliseconds. In this study, participants read sentences in English, including homographs as critical stimuli. After each sentence, they were presented a test word and had to decide weather the word was related with the sentence meaning. Test words included the English translation of the Spanish homograph meaning, and they were presented 100 ms immediately after the sentence or after 500 ms. The results showed that participants slowed their responses to the critical test words preceded by sentences including homographs relative to control test words. This effect was only observed at the immediate interval. A control experiment with English monolinguals showed no differences among conditions. The overall pattern of results further extends our previous findings to homograph processing in a sentence context.
OS_05.2 - Effects of the encoding task on the emotional effect on memory for first and second language words
Ferré, P. 1, 2 , Sánchez-Casas, R. 1, 2 & Fraga, I. 3
1 Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Tarragona. Spain
2 CRAMC. Tarragona. Spain
3 Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Emotionally charged words are better remembered than neutral words. This well established fact in monolinguals has been recently tested in bilinguals. The results of these studies have not been consistent, since several authors have obtained the emotional effect on memory only for L1 words (Anooshian & Hertel, 1994), whereas others have observed this effect for words in the two languages (Ayçiçegi & Harris, 2004; Ayçiçegi-Dinn & Caldwell Harris, 2009; Ferré et al., 2010). In most of the previous studies, the task that participants had to perform with the words at the encoding phase was to rate them on some affective dimension. The aim of the present study was to test whether the emotional effect on memory can be obtained when participants perform other encoding tasks. We conducted two memory experiments with early proficient bilinguals of Spanish and Catalan. At the encoding phase of Experiment 1, participants had to count the number of letters of L1 and L2 words (a physical encoding condition). In Experiment 2, they had to rate the concreteness of each word (a semantic encoding condition). Results showed that the type of encoding task can modulate the emotionality effect obtained in L2.
OS_05.3 - The role of phonological and orthographic overlap in cognate processing: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence
Comesaña, M. 1 , Soares, A. 1 , Sánchez-Casas, R. 2 , Frade, S. 1 , Rauber, A. 3 , Pinheiro, A. P. 1 & Fraga, I. 4
1 University of Minho (Portugal)
2 University of Rovira i Virgili (Spain)
3 Catholic University of Pelotas (Brazil)
4 University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Two major positions have been proposed in order to explain the differential processing of cognate vs. non cognate words: a lexical-morphological hypothesis (Davis et al., 2010), according to which the differential processing observed in cognate words is due to their special morphological representation in bilingual memory; and a symbolic, localist connectionist framework (Dijkstra et al., 2010) that emphasizes the cross-linguistic similarity of cognate words. In order to contrast these hypotheses, we examined the role of phonological and orthographic similarity in the processing of cognate words, as well as the duration of SOA, by recording electrophysiological (event-related potentials -ERP) and behavioral data. One-hundred and ninety-two words (96 cognate vs. 96 non-cognate words) were selected based on to their orthographic -O- and phonological -P- overlap and matched on frequency, length, grammatical category, thematic structure, and orthographic and phonological neighborhood. Forty-eight proficient European Portuguese-English bilinguals performed a silent reading task combined with a masked priming paradigm. The results showed that the processing of cognate words was modulated by both phonological and orthographic overlap, although the orthography effect was more pronounced for the longer SOA.