Volume 71, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The bilingual visual word-recognition experiment described in the article focused on the recognition of cognates, noncognates, and interlingual homographs in more and less proficient bilinguals and was designed to test the following hypotheses:1. There is a difference in reaction time to cognate, noncognate, and interlingual homograph words compared with control words.2. There is a difference in reaction time to cognate, noncognate and interlingual homograph words, compared with control words, between bilinguals with different levels of proficiency in their second language.Both proficiency levels recognized cognate words significantly faster than control words. Both novice and proficient bilinguals recognized noncognate words faster than control words. Low-proficiency bilinguals did not react faster to cognate words than to noncognate words, whereas the more proficient bilinguals did. This can be explained by a ceiling effect. Low-proficient bilinguals showed no effect in reaction time for interlingual homographs relative to the control words; the more proficient bilinguals showed an inhibitory effect. This could be because proficient bilinguals are more familiar with the less frequent (i.e., English) reading of the homograph.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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