Poster E34, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Cross-language positive and negative priming effects reverse when priming manipulations proceed from L2 to L1, compared with L1 to L2
Ewald Neumann1, Ivy Nkrumah2; 1University of Canterbury, 2University of Ivory Coast, Ghana
Twi is a native language in Ghana, Africa. Two experiments are reported in which Twi (L1) – English (L2) bilinguals encountered cross-language positive and negative priming manipulations. In each experiment participants were required to name a prime target word in one of their languages, followed by making a lexical decision (word/non-word) to a letter string in their other language. Positive priming is indicated if response times are faster when a prime target word becomes the translation equivalent of the probe target word, compared to a neutral control condition. Negative priming is indicated if response times are slower when a prime distractor word becomes the translation equivalent of the probe target word, compared to a neutral control condition. In the L1 to L2 (i.e., Twi prime-English probe) experiment, ignored repetition negative priming was observed, with no hint of attended repetition positive priming. This pattern of findings supports an inhibition-based view by suggesting that there are two operative sources of inhibition modulating these cross-language priming results. One source operates at the level of the local prime distractor word (accounting for the negative priming effect), and the other operates at the global level of the prime language (accounting for the absence of positive priming). In the L2 to L1 (i.e., English prime-Twi probe) experiment, however, attended repetition positive priming was observed, with no hint of ignored repetition negative priming. Consideration of how degrees of inhibitory modulation can vary, based on first versus second language dominance, provides an explanation for these opposing results.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control