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  First language polysemy affects second language meaning interpretation: evidence for activation of first language concepts during second language reading

Elston-Guettler, K. E., & Williams, J. N. (2008). First language polysemy affects second language meaning interpretation: evidence for activation of first language concepts during second language reading. Second Language Research, 24(2), 167-187. doi:10.1177/0267658307086300.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-2BB8-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-F0DC-7
Genre: Journal Article

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Elston-Guettler, Kerrie E.1, Author              
Williams, John N., Author
Affiliations:
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              

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Free keywords: Second language processing; Polysemy; Lexicalization; Conceptual processing; Semantic processing; On-line reading
 Abstract: The present study investigates the influence of first language (L1) lexicalization patterns on the processing of second language (L2) words in sentential contexts by advanced German learners of English. The focus was on cases where a polysemous word in the L1 is real- ized by independent words in the L2, e.g. German Blase realized by English bubble and blister . An anomaly detection task was used in which participants had to indicate whether a target word formed an acceptable completion to a sentence. The critical condition was where the other sense ( blister ) of the translation equivalent Blase was appropriate, but the word ( bubble ) did not complete the sen- tence meaningfully, e.g. ‘His shoes were uncomfortable due to a bubble.’ This was compared to a control condition in which neither sense of the L1 translation made sense, e.g. ‘She was very hungry because of a bubble.’Factors of word type (noun vs. verb) and degree of relatedness of L1 senses (high vs. moderate) were also manipu- lated. Relative to native speakers of English, advanced German learn- ers made more errors and displayed longer correct response times in the critical condition compared to the control condition. An effect of meaning relatedness was obtained for nouns but not verbs. The results are discussed in terms of the role of lexical-level translation connections in activating L1 concepts from L2 words, even in highly proficient learners and in all-L2 tasks.

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 Dates: 2008
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: eDoc: 546814
Other: P11191
DOI: 10.1177/0267658307086300
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Title: Second Language Research
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Arnold Publishers
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 24 (2) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 167 - 187 Identifier: ISSN: 0267-6583
CoNE: /journals/resource/991042745752516