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Uneven or Just Strange?: English-German Translation Ambiguity

Eddington, Chelsea Marie (2009) Uneven or Just Strange?: English-German Translation Ambiguity. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study was designed to examine how second language learners process words with more than one translation, a phenomenon called translation ambiguity. In this study, English-German number-of-translations norms were collected to determine the number of distinct translations for a set of 564 English words. These English-German Number-of-Translations norms provide researchers with a tool that can be used in future studies of second language processing. We examined the number of words that had one versus more than one translation, and compared this to the number of translations for the same words from English to Dutch. More than half of the words were assigned a single translation across participants. German was more translation ambiguous than Dutch. In addition, we conducted a primed lexical decision task with monolingual native English speakers, with the eventual goal of extending this task to primed translation production in bilinguals. We compared reaction times between ambiguous and unambiguous targets, related versus unrelated primes, and the more commonly translated meaning versus the less commonly translated meaning. Overall, unambiguous words were responded to marginally more accurately than ambiguous words, and real words were responded to more quickly and more accurately than nonwords.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Eddington, Chelsea
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTokowicz, Natashatokowicz@pitt.eduTOKOWICZ
Committee MemberSchwartz,
Committee MemberPerfetti, Charlesperfetti@pitt.eduPERFETTI
Committee MemberWarren, Tessatessa@pitt.eduTESSA
Date: 29 April 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 April 2009
Approval Date: 29 April 2009
Submission Date: 16 April 2009
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: bilingual; lexical ambiguity; lexical decision task; masked priming; multiple translations; second language
Other ID:, etd-04162009-143856
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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