The impact of language opacity, mastery and parafoveal word distance on the oculomotor behaviour of bilinguals? reading

de León Rodríguez, D.

2 The studies in this presentation gather several international and multisite collaboration projects within and between Switzerland (University of Fribourg, University of Bern, University of Geneva) and Costa Rica (Universidad de Costa Rica)

In the orthographic depth hypothesis or ODH, languages can be categorized as a function of their degree of orthographic depth defined by the more or less direct/ambiguous, or transparent/opaque, relationship between graphemes and phonemes of the language . The pronunciation of words can then be obtained using simple one-to-one grapheme-phoneme conversion (GPC) rules, or by means of more complex rules stored in procedural memory. Different processing would therefore be involved when reading, which vary in the degree of opacity (opaque vs. transparent GPC) of a given language. In this way, Spanish or German are transparent languages as the majority of their words obey a simple GPC relationship. Whereas, in opaque languages, such as English or French, words share most frequently an ambiguous GPC relationship. Several behavioural and brain imaging studies have tested this hypothesis, but few of them have evaluated the oculomotor pattern while reading. According to the ODH, the reading pattern might be global and parallel in opaque languages, but local and serial in transparent languages. This presentation will focus on three eyetracking studies challenging the ODH with several opaque-transparent bilingual groups. The task was to read aloud isolated words and pseudo-words (Study 1 and 2) or only words (Study 3). The first study investigated the oculomotor pattern of simultaneous German-French bilingual readers, while the second and third studies