Conceptual representation changes in Indonesian-English bilinguals

Hartanto, Andree, and Suárez, Lidia (2016) Conceptual representation changes in Indonesian-English bilinguals. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 45 (5). pp. 1201-1217.

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This study investigated conceptual representations changes in bilinguals. Participants were Indonesian-English bilinguals (dominant in Indonesian, with different levels of English proficiency) and a control group composed of English-dominant bilinguals. All completed a gender decision task, in which participants decided whether English words referred to a male or female person or animal. In order to explore conceptual representations, we divided the words into gender-specific and gender-ambiguous words. Gender-specific words were words in which conceptual representations contained gender as a defining feature, in both English and Indonesian (e.g., uncle). In contrast, gender-ambiguous words were words in which gender was a defining feature in English but not a necessary feature in Indonesian (e.g., nephew and niece are both subsumed under the same word, keponakan, in Indonesian). The experiment was conducted exclusively in English. Indonesian-English bilinguals responded faster to gender-specific words than gender-ambiguous words, but the difference was smaller for the most proficient bilinguals. As expected, English-dominant speakers' response latencies were similar across these two types of words. The results suggest that English concepts are dynamic and that proficiency leads to native-like conceptual presentations.

Item ID: 40743
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-6555
Keywords: bilingualism, conceptual representation, conceptual restructuring, translation equivalent, bilingual lexicon
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Funders: James Cook University Singapore (JCUS)
Projects and Grants: JCUS 007/2014/LAS
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2015 01:53
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520405 Psycholinguistics (incl. speech production and comprehension) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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