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This chapter reports on three experiments using the cross-modal lexical priming paradigm to explore whether interlingual homographs (i.e., words with competing semantic and overlapping orthographic representations) are activated selectively or nonselectively. The literature is somewhat controversial when it comes to the question of how bilinguals process ambiguous language. While the majority of studies suggest language nonselectivity, some research seems to indicate selective bilingual lexical access depending on the user’s linguistic needs and demands. In Experiment 1, which serves as a baseline, Spanish-English bilinguals listened to sentences in which a critical prime (e.g., trial) was associated with the English meaning of a homograph target (cases). In Experiment 2, participants were presented with homograph-translation primes (e.g., the stimulus married is presented before cases). Experiment 3, aside from the homograph-translation priming from Experiment 2, included a Spanish language mode induction variable presented at the beginning of the experiment. Results point to the effects of proficiency and priming in modulating language coactivation.
This chapter provides a critical review of the cross-modal lexical priming (CMLP) paradigm and its variants as used in the bilingual lexical access literature. We first discuss methodological concerns related to task processing demands and the specific requirements (e.g., ecological validity, online vs. offline) required to appropriately assess bilingual exhaustive activation. We then go on to discuss the functionality and reliability of the CMLP and its implementations in bilingual cross-language priming, bilingual figurative language processing (e.g., idioms and metaphors), and word type effects (e.g., homophones, homographs). We underscore the CMLP’s capability and flexibility to probe for bilingual multiple lexical activation at multiple points throughout the spoken sentence and provide early and late measures of language processing.
This book provides students and researchers of bilingualism with the most recent methodological and theoretical advances on how bilinguals resolve ambiguous information across languages. With reports on the latest findings from the behavioral and neuropsychological fields, the authors survey the latest research into bilingual language-system modelling and bilingual lexical ambiguity processing. Each chapter looks at bilingual ambiguity resolution both at the word and sentence levels, explaining how bilinguals ultimately comprehend ambiguous information arising from languages they already know. This volume not only explores enduring theoretical questions in bilingual research, such as bilingual representation and language processing, but also evaluates the extent to which the existing bilingual models can satisfactorily account for the most recent research findings.