On national flags and language tags: Effects of flag-language congruency in bilingual word recognition
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French-English bilinguals performed a generalized lexical decision experiment with mixed lists of French and English words and pseudo-words. In Experiment 1, each word/pseudo-word was superimposed on the picture of the French or UK flag, and flag-word congruency was manipulated. The flag was not informative with respect to either the lexical decision response or the language of the word. Nevertheless, lexical decisions to word stimuli were faster following the congruent flag compared with the incongruent flag, but only for French (L1) words. Experiment 2 replicated this flag-language congruency effect in a priming paradigm, where the word and pseudo-word targets followed the brief presentation of the flag prime, and this time effects were seen in both languages. We take these findings as evidence for a mechanism that automatically processes linguistic and non-linguistic information concerning the presence or not of a given language. Language membership information can then modulate lexical processing, in line with the architecture of the BIA model, but not the BIA + model. Elsevier B.V.
- Social Sciences [49 items ]