Cross-linguistic differences in parafoveal semantic and orthographic processing

Fernandez, L. B., Scheepers, C. and Allen, S. E.M. (2021) Cross-linguistic differences in parafoveal semantic and orthographic processing. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 83(8), pp. 3183-3200. (doi: 10.3758/s13414-021-02329-7)

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In this study we investigated parafoveal processing by L1 and late L2 speakers of English (L1 German) while reading in English. We hypothesized that L2ers would make use of semantic and orthographic information parafoveally. Using the gaze contingent boundary paradigm, we manipulated six parafoveal masks in a sentence (Mark found th*e wood for the fire; * indicates the invisible boundary): identical word mask (wood), English orthographic mask (wook), English string mask (zwwl), German mask (holz), German orthographic mask (holn), and German string mask (kxfs). We found an orthographic benefit for L1ers and L2ers when the mask was orthographically related to the target word (wood vs. wook) in line with previous L1 research. English L2ers did not derive a benefit (rather an interference) when a non-cognate translation mask from their L1 was used (wood vs. holz), but did derive a benefit from a German orthographic mask (wood vs. holn). While unexpected, it may be that L2ers incur a switching cost when the complete German word is presented parafoveally, and derive a benefit by keeping both lexicons active when a partial German word is presented parafoveally (narrowing down lexical candidates). To the authors’ knowledge there is no mention of parafoveal processing in any model of L2 processing/reading, and the current study provides the first evidence for a parafoveal non-cognate orthographic benefit (but only with partial orthographic overlap) in sentence reading for L2ers. We discuss how these findings fit into the framework of bilingual word recognition theories.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. This work was in part supported by the mobility funding of the TU Nachwuchsring (TU Kaiserslautern).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scheepers, Dr Christoph
Authors: Fernandez, L. B., Scheepers, C., and Allen, S. E.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics
ISSN (Online):1943-393X
Published Online:26 July 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics 83(8): 3183-3200
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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