English compound word processing: Evidence from Mandarin Chinese-English bilinguals
University of Kansas
This item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
MetadataShow full item record
Much research has focused on the how monolinguals process morphologically complex words. However, there has been less research that focuses on how bilinguals process morphologically complex words in their L2. This study investigated how bilinguals process English noun-noun compound words. Processing was investigated using a masked priming word recognition task in high-proficiency Mandarin Chinese-English bilinguals (Chinese is their native language and English is their second language). Participants made visual lexical decisions to compound word targets preceded by masked primes which were second constituents of the compounds, sharing either 1) a semantically transparent morphological relationship with the target (e.g. bone-cheekbone), which is called the transparent condition; 2) an apparent morphological relationship, but no semantic relationship with the target (e.g., moon-honeymoon), which is called the opaque condition; 3) an orthographic relationship with the target (e.g., plate-birthplace) , which is called the orthographic condition; 4) a direct translation in Chinese of the second constituent of the target (e.g., 纸(paper)-newspaper), which is called the Chinese condition. The results showed that the transparent and Chinese conditions produced significant priming effects, but the opaque condition and orthographic condition did not. Regarding the processing of morphologically complex words, this study provides some evidence that Mandarin Chinese-English bilinguals used a decompositional route for transparent compound words, but whole word processing for opaque compound words. The priming effects found in the Chinese condition suggest that when Mandarin Chinese-English bilinguals process their second language, their first language is also activated.
- Linguistics Dissertations and Theses 
- Theses 
Items in KU ScholarWorks are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
We want to hear from you! Please share your stories about how Open Access to this item benefits YOU.