Skip to main content

Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Fast automatic translation and morphological decomposition in Chinese- English bilinguals

Zhang, Taoli; van Heuven, Walter J.B.; Conklin, Kathy

Authors

Taoli Zhang

Walter J.B. van Heuven

Kathy Conklin kathy.conklin@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

In this study, we investigated automatic translation from English to Chinese and subsequent morphological decomposition of translated Chinese compounds. In two lexical decision tasks, Chinese-English bilinguals responded to English target words that were preceded by masked unrelated primes presented for 59 ms. Unbeknownst to participants, the Chinese translations of the words in each critical pair consisted of a fully opaque compound word (i.e., a compound with two constituent morphemes that were semantically unrelated to the compound) and a monomorphemic word that was either the first or the second morpheme of the compound. The data revealed that bilinguals responded faster to English word pairs whose Chinese translations repeated the first morpheme than to English word pairs whose Chinese translations did not repeat the first morpheme, but no effect of hidden second-morpheme repetition was found. This effect of hidden first-morpheme repetition suggests that participants translated English words to Chinese and decomposed the translated compounds into their constituent morphemes. Because the primes were presented for only 59 ms, translation and morphological decomposition must be fast and automatic.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2011
Journal Psychological Science
Print ISSN 0956-7976
Electronic ISSN 0956-7976
Publisher Association for Psychological Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 10
APA6 Citation Zhang, T., van Heuven, W. J., & Conklin, K. (2011). Fast automatic translation and morphological decomposition in Chinese- English bilinguals. Psychological Science, 22(10), doi:10.1177/0956797611421492
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611421492
Keywords bilingualism, word recognition, priming
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

Files

ZhangVanHeuvenConklin_PsySci_2011.pdf (374 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





Downloadable Citations