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Shared translation pairs processing in bilinguals: an event-related potential study

Kolla, Avani (2017) Shared translation pairs processing in bilinguals: an event-related potential study. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study explores the question of how first language (L1) processing interacts with second language (L2) processing and how the two languages are integrated in a bilingual’s mind. More specifically, we investigate the nature of the relationship (inhibitory vs. facilitative and semantic vs. lexical) between shared translation pairs (e.g., “doll” and “wrist” both translate to “muñeca” in Spanish). If there is a facilitative relationship, when one translation is encountered, the mental representations of both translations would be activated. If there is an inhibitory relationship, encountering one translation would suppress the mental activation of the second translation. A relationship between shared translation pairs, regardless of whether it is inhibitory or facilitative, would suggest integration between first and second language processing. We also explore whether this relationship occurs at the semantic or lexical level, and whether it is dependent on level of semantic relatedness. Event related potentials (ERPs) were recorded as English monolinguals, English-Spanish bilinguals, and Spanish-English bilinguals performed a lexical decision task (LDT). The LDT prime-target pairs included shared translation pairs, different translation pairs, and pairs matched on lexical variables. Each type of pair included highly related, moderately related, and unrelated prime-targets. This study was done in two parts: 1)
design of experiment, first wave of data collection, and preliminary analysis, and, 2) stimulus optimization, reanalysis of first wave data, a second wave of data collection, and analysis of the larger dataset. This paper focuses on the second part of the study. Analysis of N400 waveforms (taken to be reflective of semantic processing) generated by the first wave of participants revealed larger N400 amplitudes for shared translation pairs than matched pairs. This suggests an inhibitory relationship between shared translation pairs. However, analysis of N400 waveforms generated by first and second wave participants revealed no interaction between translation status (matched and shared) and linguistic background group (monolingual and bilingual). Comparison of first wave and second wave participants’ characteristics suggests that the balance between first and second language proficiencies influences the degree of L1-L2 semantic integration.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kolla, Avaniamk212@pitt.eduAMK212
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorTokowicz, Natasha
Committee MemberMalt, Barbara
Committee MemberFiez, Julie
Committee MemberWarren, Tessa
Date: 24 April 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 April 2016
Approval Date: 24 April 2017
Submission Date: 27 September 2016
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 50
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: University Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: ERP Bilingual Psycholinguistics
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 16:56
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 16:56
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/29682

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