Semantic priming effects between a native language and a second as moderated by individual and hemispheric differences
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
vii, 61 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Psychology
The current study examined second language learners and employed a masked semantic priming paradigm paired with a lexical decision task in an attempt to better understand the processes of acquiring semantic information from a second language (L2) and organizing into the lexicon of a learner. Results from previous literature reveal discrepant results, with some studies providing support for the Revised Hierarchical Model (RHM) emphasizing direct translation links from the first language (L1) being essential for second language processing, while other studies find that an L1 is not necessarily needed in order to process semantic information, thus, supporting the Distributed Representation Model (DRM). Of additional interest, were both the role of hemispheric processing and the relationship of working memory on second language semantic integration. Results from our study revealed an asymmetrical priming effect from the L2-L1 direction with better accuracy for targets in the left hemisphere providing support for the RHM.