The current study examined automatic activation and semantic influences from the non-target language of different-script bilinguals during visual word processing. Thirty-four Arabic-Hebrew bilinguals and 34 native Hebrew controls performed a semantic relatedness task on visually presented Hebrew word pairs. In one type of critical trials, cognate primes between Arabic and Hebrew preceded related Hebrew target words. In a second type, false-cognate primes preceded Hebrew targets related to the Arabic meaning (but not the Hebrew meaning) of the false-cognate. Although Hebrew orthography is a fully reliable cue of language membership, facilitation on cognate trials and interference on false-cognate trials were observed for Arabic-Hebrew bilinguals. The activation of the non-target language was sufficient to influence participants' semantic decisions in the target language, demonstrating simultaneous activation of both languages even for different-script bilinguals in a single language context. To discuss the findings we refine existing models of bilingual processing to accommodate different-script bilinguals.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by EU-FP7 grant CIG-322016 to TD.
© 2017 Cambridge University Press.
- cross-language influences
- different-script bilinguals
- semantic influences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language