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Academic Paper


Title: Effects of phonological feedback on the selection of syntax: Evidence from between-language syntactic priming
Author: Sarah Bernolet
Institution: Ghent University
Author: Robert J. Hartsuiker
Institution: Ghent University
Author: Martin J Pickering
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: Dutch
English
Abstract: Research on word production in bilinguals has often shown an advantage for cognate words. According to some accounts, this cognate effect is caused by feedback from a level that represents information about phonemes (or graphemes) to a level concerned with the word. In order to investigate whether phonological feedback influences the selection of words and syntactic constructions in late bilinguals, we investigated syntactic priming between Dutch and English genitive constructions (e.g., the fork of the girl vs. the girl's fork). The head nouns of prime and target constructions were always translation equivalents. Half of these were Dutch–English cognates with a large phonological overlap (e.g., vork–fork), the other half were non-cognates that had very few phonemes in common (e.g., eend–duck). Cognate status boosted between-language syntactic priming. Further analyses showed a continuous effect of phonological overlap for cognates and non-cognates, indicating that this boost was at least partly caused by feedback from the translation equivalents’ shared phonemes.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 3.

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