Semantic priming effects with bilingual children (BA Workshop, Oxford)

Aris Terzopoulos, Georgia Niolaki, Lynne Duncan, Jackie Masterson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Two experiments investigated cognate and non-cognate translation priming in two languages, Greek and English. Experiment 1 involved bilingual children (9-11 years-old) with either Greek or English as their dominant language who participated in a masked priming lexical decision task. The experimental stimuli were cognate and non-cognate translations where either the prime was in the dominant language (L1) and the target in the non-dominant (L2), or vice versa. The control baseline involved unrelated words. Stronger priming was observed for cognate translations from L1 to L2 than from L2 to L1. Translation priming was not observed for non-cognates. In Experiment 2 a different group of bilingual children but with similar characteristics as in Experiment 1 participated in a masked priming semantic categorisation task. Priming effects were observed for cognate translation non-exemplars in the L2 - L1 direction, whereas non-cognates did not show any effects. The results from Experiment 1 are congruent with previous findings that involved unbalanced bilinguals. In contrast, results from Experiment 2 are incongruent with previous research and explained with reference to task demand characteristics and effects of methods of teaching L2 to early learners. The importance of using bilingual word databases (e.g. BiLex-Kids) for psycholinguistic experiments is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSemantic priming effects with bilingual children
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2017
Event20th Conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology - Potsdam, Germany
Duration: 3 Sept 20176 Sept 2017


Conference20th Conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology
Abbreviated titleESCOP 2017


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