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Figure 2. L2 Cognates vs. L2 Non-cognates in both language groups at the anterior electrode site Fz (finding A). Figure 3. L2 Cognates vs. L2 Non-cognates.

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Presentation on theme: "Figure 2. L2 Cognates vs. L2 Non-cognates in both language groups at the anterior electrode site Fz (finding A). Figure 3. L2 Cognates vs. L2 Non-cognates."— Presentation transcript:

1 Figure 2. L2 Cognates vs. L2 Non-cognates in both language groups at the anterior electrode site Fz (finding A). Figure 3. L2 Cognates vs. L2 Non-cognates in both language groups at the posterior electrode site Pz (finding B). Electrophysiological Studies of Cognates; a comparison of French/English Bilinguals and English/French Bilinguals Katherine J. Midgley 1,2, Jonathan Grainger 2 & Phillip J. Holcomb 1 Tufts University, Medford, MA 1 ; Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive - CNRS, Université de Provence, Aix/Marseille 2 introduction results discussion A+BThe results of this study suggest that cognate status in L2 modulated two ERP components in bilingual learners. The first was a posterior positivity starting as early as 225 ms and extending as late as 400 ms at some sites. This component was largest (most positive) to L2 items that were not cognates and was more prominent in L1 English speakers. The second component was a later negativity that started at about 300 ms and extended as late as 700 ms at some sites. This negativity, which resembles the N400, tended to have a more anterior distribution than the earlier positivity (especially in the L1 English group), but like the earlier positivity was larger to non-cognates than cognates. It was more prominent in the L1 French speakers. In bilinguals, how does the processing of cognates, or words that share orthographic and semantic overlap across languages (e.g., in English and French: regime and régime), differ from that of words without such overlap (e.g., tree and arbre)? One reason for this question’s importance is that during the process of becoming bilingual cognates from one’s first language (L1) are thought to provide some of the earliest footholds into the establishment of the target language (L2) vocabulary. For example, the Revised Hierarchical Model of Kroll and Stuart (1994) predicts that L2 word processing will initially be very dependent on the L1 word/semantic system, but that as one becomes more proficient in L2 this dependence will become less pronounced. In the present ongoing study we are interested in two interrelated questions. 1) What ERP component(s) is sensitive to differences in cognate status for L1 speakers of French learning English and are they the same for L1 speakers of English learning French? 2) Does this sensitivity vary as a function of L2 proficiency?

2 ABoth language groups show an increased anterior negativity in the 300 to 500 ms range for L2 non- cognates compared to L2 cognates with the French group showing a more prominent effect. BBoth groups show an earlier positivity to L2 non- cognates compared to L2 cognates at the Pz electrode site (200 to 400 ms range). The English group shows only the positivity while the French group shows this positivity and the later negativity. CIn the more proficient group the L2 exact cognates were patterned with the L2 close cognates; that is they exhibit more of the early positivity than do the L1 exact cognates or the L2 exact cognates of the low proficiency group. contact : trialsreferences Kroll, J. F., & Stewart, E. (1994). Category interference in translation and picture naming: Evidence for asymmetric connections between bilingual memory representations. Journal of Memory and Language, 33, This research was supported by NIH Grants HD25889 and HD and by the CNRS, France. Semantic Categorization Task Participants were instructed to press a button to all animal names. Stimuli – 200 Trials 80cognates of which : 40 exact cognates (table / table) 40 close cognates (music / musique) 80non-cognates : e.g. milk, cloud (lait, nuage) 40animal name probe trials The stimuli were presented in 2 language blocks in counter balanced order. Participants L1 French 18 participants from the Université de Provence right-handed native speakers of French 13 female, mean age = 22 years L1 English 40 participants from Tufts University right-handed native speakers of English 32 female, mean age = 19.7 years split into high and low proficiency groups of 15 subjects methods electrode montage figure 1 Figure 4. L2 Cognates vs. L2 Non-cognates in both language groups at the posterior electrode site Pz (finding C). CAmong the L1 English speakers those that were relatively more proficient in L2 produced ERPs to cognates in L2 that were dominated by the posterior positivity. Their ERPs in L1 produced negativities in this same time range. On the other hand, English speakers that were less proficient in L2 produced ERPs to cognates in L2 that more like their L1 responses (i.e., dominated by the negativity). This seemingly counterintuitive pattern makes sense within a framework such as that suggested by the Revised Hierarchical model of Kroll and Stuart (1994). This view assumes that as L2 learners become more proficient in their second language they start to process words in L2 within their newly evolving L2 lexical-semantic system. Since this system is still relatively incomplete, the negativity (i.e., the N400) to words processed within this system is comparatively small. In contrast, less proficient L2 speakers rely more heavily on their L1 lexical-semantic system to process words in L2. For cognates this results in an ERP pattern (i.e., a larger N400) that resembles their L1 response.


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