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Cross language priming extends to formulaic units: evidence from eye-tracking suggests that this idea “has legs”

Carrol, Gareth; Conklin, Kathy

Authors

Gareth Carrol gareth.carrol@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Idiom priming effects (faster processing compared to novel phrases) are generally robust in native speakers but not non-native speakers. This leads to the question of how idioms and other multiword units are represented and accessed in a first (L1) and second language (L2). We address this by investigating the processing of translated Chinese idioms to determine whether known L1 combinations show idiom priming effects in non-native speakers when encountered in the L2. In two eye-tracking experiments we compared reading times for idioms vs. control phrases (Experiment 1) and for figurative vs. literal uses of idioms (Experiment 2). Native speakers of Chinese showed recognition of the L1 form in the L2, but figurative meanings were read more slowly than literal meanings, suggesting that the non-compositional nature of idioms makes them problematic in a non-native language. We discuss the results as they relate to crosslinguistic priming at the multiword level.

Citation

Carrol, G., & Conklin, K. (2017). Cross language priming extends to formulaic units: evidence from eye-tracking suggests that this idea “has legs”. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20(2), https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728915000103

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 25, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 20, 2015
Publication Date Mar 1, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 28, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 28, 2015
Journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
Print ISSN 1366-7289
Electronic ISSN 1366-7289
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 2
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728915000103
Keywords bilingualism, dual route processing, formulaic language, idioms, crosslinguistic influence
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/28743
Publisher URL http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9664537&fileId=S1366728915000103
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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