Volume 6, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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Cross language priming in the visual modality is a well-established paradigm that offers insights into the representation of the bilingual mental lexicon; however, here we employ a novel form of priming, (i.e., an animacy decision task), to test previous outcomes. In addition, this study is the first to carry out an auditory priming task with bilingual Chinese-English speakers. Thus, we report on two experiments in which the participants decided whether visually (Experiment 1) or auditorily (Experiment 2) presented stimuli were exemplars of living entities or non-living things. The tasks allowed for addressing the priming effect, the priming asymmetry effect, and in turn allowed for testing the Revised Hierarchical Model ( Kroll & Stewart, 1994 ). Priming effects, where the related targets were responded to more rapidly compared to unrelated targets, were observed in both modalities in the L1 to L2 condition; however, no priming effects were found from L2 to L1. The findings obtained in this study support the use of primed animacy decision tasks in either modality as a valid tool for investigating bilingual lexical memory. Also, the observed priming effects allow for retaining the RHM in its original form.


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