Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 August 2011
Three experiments using a priming lexical decision paradigm were conducted to examine whether cross-language activation occurs via decomposition during the processing of derived words in Korean–English bilingual readers. In Experiment 1, when participants were given a real derived word and an interpretable derived pseudoword (i.e., illegal combination of a stem and a suffix) in Korean as a prime, response times for the corresponding English-translated stem were significantly faster than when they had received an unrelated word. In Experiment 2, non-morphological ending pseudowords (i.e., illegal combination of a stem and an orthographic ending) were included, and this did not show a priming effect. In Experiment 3, non-interpretable derived pseudowords also yielded a significant priming effect just as the interpretable ones. These results together suggest that cross-language activation of morphologically complex words occurs independently of lexicality and interpretability.
This work was supported in part by a Support Program for Advancing Research and Collaboration (SPARC) from the University of Maryland to the first author. We are grateful to Ken Forster for his valuable suggestions and comments on an early version of the paper. We thank Ton Dijkstra for his discussion on theoretical issues. Dr. Yan Jing Wu and two other, anonymous reviewers provided excellent reviews on this manuscript. We also thank Charles Mueller and Candise Y. Lin for their careful proofreading of an early version of the paper.
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