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Does sentence constraint influence word recognition in bilinguals?. Evidence from Event-Related Potentials and RTs. Pascal E. A. Brenders, Janet G. van Hell, & Ton Dijkstra. NICI / BSI. Does sentence context influence word recognition in bilinguals?. Consider these sentences:

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does sentence constraint influence word recognition in bilinguals

Does sentence constraint influence word recognition in bilinguals?

Evidence from Event-Related Potentials and RTs

Pascal E. A. Brenders, Janet G. van Hell, & Ton Dijkstra

NICI / BSI

does sentence context influence word recognition in bilinguals
Does sentence context influence word recognition in bilinguals?
  • Consider these sentences:
  • “The father brought his sick daughter to the DOCTOR.”
  • “De vader bracht zijn zieke dochter naar de DOCTOR.”
  • Three factors could influence the recognition of the word DOCTOR:
  • semantic constraint (high vs. low)
  • lexical aspects of DOCTOR (cognates vs. noncognates)
  • language of sentence context (Dutch vs. English)
  • We will investigate these factors in an English lexical decision task
van hell 1998 1
Van Hell (1998) 1
  • Does sentence context influence word recognition in bilinguals?
  • Task: English lexical decision
  • Participants: Dutch-English bilinguals
  • Manipulations:
  • Semantic constraint: high vs. low
  • Cognate status: cognates vs. noncognates
  • Language of sentence and target was always English (L2)
van hell 1998 2
Van Hell (1998) 2
  • Stimuli:
  • Cognates doctor (L1:dokter)
  • Non-cognates flower (L1:bloem)
  • Cognates: similar meaning, orthography, and phonology
  • between L1: Dutch, and L2: English
van hell 1998 conclusions
Van Hell (1998)Conclusions
  • Conclusions
  • Cognate effect in L2 remains in low constraint sentences
  • Cognate effect in L2 remains in isolation
  • In high constraint sentences cognate effect in the right direction,
  • but not significant
current study
Current study
  • Extending van Hell (1998) by introducing the following factors:
  • semantic constraint: isolation
          • high
          • low
  • cognate status: cognates
  • noncognates
  • language of sentence context: L1  L2
  • L2  L2
  • measuring RTs and Event-Related Potentials
stimuli
Stimuli

Word stimuli: 56 English words and 56 matched pseudowords. All words were matched on length and log frequency

sentence contexts
Sentence contexts

Four sentence contexts were constructed for all 112 word stimuli:

rapid serial visual presentation mode rsvp mode
Rapid Serial Visual Presentation mode (RSVP mode)

Each word was

presented for 345 ms,

followed by a 300 ms

blank (SOA = 645 ms).

English lexical decision on

sentence final words that

were followed by a dot.

behavioral results isolated targets
Behavioral resultsIsolated targets

Cognate status effect in isolation (third presentation)

behavioral results sentence context 1
Behavioral resultsSentence context 1
  • No main effects of language of sentence context
  • Semantic constraint effect
  • Cognate status effect
behavioral results sentence context 2
Behavioral resultsSentence context 2
  • Semantic constraint effect
  • Cognate status effect
conclusions behavioral experiment
Conclusions behavioral experiment
  • For isolated words, we found cognate facilitation,
  • replicating the well known cognate effect from the literature
  • Cognate effects also in sentence contexts
  • No main effects of language of sentence context
  • Faster RTs for targets at the end of high constraint sentences than
  • for low constraint sentences
  • Semantic constraint and language of context have no impact on
  • cognate effects
method erp experiment electrode placement on the scalp
Method ERP experiment:Electrode placement on the scalp

Recording parameters

of the ERP study:

EEG was recorded from

27 electrodes,

Referenced to the left

mastoid and digitized

on-line with a sampling

frequency of 200 Hz

using a 12 bit A/D

converter.

component
Component
  • N400 Index of semantic integration
  • Between 300 and 500 ms after word onset
  • Peaking at around 400 ms (negative amplitude)
results erp experiment cognates and noncognates in high and low constraint sentence contexts
Results ERP experiment:Cognates and noncognates in high and low constraint sentence contexts
  • Semantic constraint effect
  • Independent of lexical characteristics of the targets:
  • cognates or noncognates
results erp experiment cognates and noncognates in high or low constraint sentence contexts
Results ERP experiment:Cognates and noncognates in high or low constraint sentence contexts
  • No cognate status effect
  • Independent of semantic constraint:
  • high constraint vs. low constraint
results erp experiment cognates and noncognates in english or dutch sentences
Results ERP experiment:Cognates and noncognates in English or Dutch sentences
  • No cognate effect in English sentences
  • Cognate status effect in Dutch sentences
slide26
Results ERP experiment:Cognates and noncognates in English, high and low constraint sentence contexts
  • Cognate status effect in English,
  • high constraint sentence contexts
  • Cognates are integrated more easily
  • than noncognates
  • (facilitation by Dutch reading)
  • No cognate status effect in English,
  • low constraint sentence contexts
results erp experiment cognates and noncognates in dutch high and low constraint sentence contexts
Results ERP experiment:Cognates and noncognates in Dutch, high and low constraint sentence contexts
  • Cognate status effect in Dutch,
  • high constraint sentence contexts
  • Cognates are integrated more difficult
  • than noncognates
  • (inhibition by English reading)
  • Cognate status effect in Dutch,
  • low constraint sentence contexts
  • Cognates are integrated more difficult
  • than noncognates
  • (inhibition by English reading)
conclusions erp experiment
Conclusions ERP experiment
  • Although not all analysis have been done we may draw the
  • following conclusions:
  • Semantic constraint effect (N400)
  • independent of lexical characteristics of target items:
  • cognates vs. noncognates
  • There are cognate status effects, but they depend on both the
  • language and the constraint of the sentence
  • Cognate status effect in isolated contexts (third presentation)
overall conclusions 1
Overall conclusions 1

RTs:

Semantic constraint and language of context have no impact on

cognate status effects.

ERPs:

The three-way interaction of language of the sentence context,

semantic constraint, and cognate status indicates that

cognate status effects are affected by semantic constraint

and language of the sentence context after all.

overall conclusions 2
Overall conclusions 2

Dissociation of RT and ERP results:

results erp experiment
Results ERP experiment

* p < 0.05

** p < 0.01

results erp experiment main effect language of the sentence collapsed
Results ERP experiment:Main effect: language of the sentence collapsed

? Language switching effect ?

results erp experiment cognates or noncognates in dutch or english sentences
Results ERP experiment:Cognates or noncognates in Dutch or English sentences
  • Language switching effect
  • Independent of lexical characteristics of the targets: cognates vs.
  • noncognates, but language effect is smaller for cognates
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