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Title: Morphological processing in bilingual speakers of German and English
Author: Otto, Elisabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 8077
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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It has been demonstrated that in early visual word processing, monolingual speakers process morphologically complex words in terms of their constituent morphemes (e.g., hunt+er), irrespective of the semantic relationship between stem and suffix (e.g., corn+er) (e.g., Longtin, Segui, & Halle, 2003; Rastle, Davis, & New, 2004). However, research into bilingual morphological processing has produced support for and against the notion that bilinguals process morphologically complex words akin to monolingual speakers (Clahsen, Felser, Neubauer, Sato, & Silva, 2010; Diependaele, Dufiabeitia, Morris, & Keuleers, 2011). The experiments in this work explored the nature of bilingual morphological processing in early visual word recognition, by means of masked priming. Using prime target pairs sharing a morphological a nd semantic (e.g., hunter-hunt), only a pseudo-morphological (e.g., corner-corn), and neither morphological nor semantic relationship (e.g., yellow-yell), Experiments 1 and 2 explored morphological priming in English for English L1 - German L2 and German L1 - English L2 speakers, respectively. The design was expanded to German, testing bilingual German L1 and L2 speakers in Experiments 3 and 4. Results showed similar trends with consistent priming across all conditions for bilingual English L1 and L2 speakers, but different priming magnitudes for bilingual German L1 and L2 speakers. Using primes ranging from very low to very high frequencies, the relative contribution of prime frequency with respect to these findings was explored first for native English speakers in Experiment 5, and expanded to English L2 speakers in Experiment 6. Although prime frequency affected reaction latencies in both monolingual and bilingual speakers, Experiment 7, a re-test of Experiment 1 with monolingual speakers with no knowledge of a foreign language, indicated that it may be the sound command of another language that influences morphological processing in the participants' native language. The results are discussed in relation to the current literature and models of bilingual word processing.
Supervisor: Rastle, Kathy ; Brysbaert, Marc Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Morphological Processing ; Bilingualism ; Priming