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L2-L1 noncognate masked translation priming as a task-specific phenomenon

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 December 2020

Mark J. McPhedran*
Department of Psychology, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Stephen J. Lupker
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario
Address for correspondence: Mark McPhedran, Department of Psychology, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 20 University Drive, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, A2H 5G5, E-mail:


The masked translation priming effect was examined in Chinese–English bilinguals using lexical decision and semantic categorization tasks in an effort to understand why the two tasks seem to produce different patterns of results. A machine-learning approach was used to assess the participant-based factors that contribute to the sizes of translation priming effects in these tasks. As expected, the participant-based factors that predicted translation priming effects did vary across tasks. Priming effects in lexical decision were associated with higher self-rated listening, reading, and writing abilities in English. Priming effects in semantic categorization were associated with more frequent use of English in daily life, spoken English proficiency, and self-rated listening proficiency in English. These results are discussed within the framework of Multilink, the logic of which is then expanded in an attempt to account for these task differences.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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