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Academic Paper


Title: Phonological inconsistency in word naming: Determinants of the interference effect between languages
Author: Erica Smits
Institution: Antwerp University Association
Author: Dominiek Sandra
Institution: University of Antwerp
Author: Heike Martensen
Institution: Antwerp University Association
Author: Ton Dijkstra
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Lexicography; Phonology
Abstract: Dutch–English participants named words and nonwords with a between-language phonologically inconsistent rime, e.g., GREED and PREED, and control words with a language-typical rime, e.g., GROAN, in a monolingual stimulus list or in a mixed list containing Dutch words. Inconsistent items had longer latencies and more errors than typical items in the mixed lists but not in the pure list. The consistency effect depended on word frequency, but not on language membership, lexicality, or instruction. Instruction did affect the relative speed and number of errors in the two languages. The consistency effect is the consequence of the simultaneous activation of two sublexical codes in the bilinguals' two languages and its size depends on the activation rate of the associated lexical representations (high-frequency words versus low-frequency words and nonwords) and on the decision criteria that monitor the response conflict at the decision level: the timing for responding (time criterion) in each language depends on the composition of the stimulus list and the likelihood of responses in either language.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 12, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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