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image of Processing backward translation at intermediate L2 proficiency
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN 1879-9272
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    Processing backward translation at intermediate L2 proficiency

    The role of lexical, conceptual, and phonological links

  • Author(s): Reza Rafi 1
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    Affiliations: 1: University of Freiburg
  • Source: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
    Available online: 22 February 2018
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/lab.17018.raf
    • Received : 26 Feb 2017
    • Accepted : 16 Jan 2018
    • Version of Record published : 22 Feb 2018

Abstract

This study opens a window into the mapping of the lexical structure of bilinguals as they reach intermediate-level L2 proficiency. A group of 32 Persian-speaking English learners participated in a translation recognition task, where they had to decide whether the sequentially presented English-Persian word pairs were translation equivalents. The Persian words in the experimental trials were not translation equivalents, but they either shared lexical or semantic features with the correct translations or shared phonological features with the preceding English words. For example, the Persian word /bɒːzuː/ in the word pair  – /bɒːzuː/ was manipulated to create three categories of ‘no’ trials: (a) orthographically related to the translation equivalent ( – /bɒːziː/ ‘game’), (b) semantically related to the translation equivalent ( – /ʃɒːne/ ‘shoulder’), (c) phonologically related to the English word ( – /ɒːrmɒːn/ ‘goal’). A significant interference effect was observed in response to the items in the first two categories, which indicates extensive utilization of both lexical and conceptual links in backward translation. However, the observed interference effect in the third category did not reach statistical significance, which calls into question the integrated activation of L1 and L2 prior to high level L2 proficiency. These results are discussed within the context of the Revised Hierarchical Model ( Kroll & Stewart, 1994 ) and the Bilingual Interactive Activation Plus model ( Dijkstra & Van Heuven, 2002 ).

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2019-08-25
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