Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 49–73

Bilingual Reading of Compound Words

Authors

  • In Yeong Ko
    • Department of Human DevelopmentUniversity of Maryland
    • Department of Human DevelopmentUniversity of Maryland
  • Say Young Kim
    • Department of Human DevelopmentUniversity of Maryland
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10936-010-9155-x

Cite this article as:
Ko, I.Y., Wang, M. & Kim, S.Y. J Psycholinguist Res (2011) 40: 49. doi:10.1007/s10936-010-9155-x

Abstract

The present study investigated whether bilingual readers activate constituents of compound words in one language while processing compound words in the other language via decomposition. Two experiments using a lexical decision task were conducted with adult Korean-English bilingual readers. In Experiment 1, the lexical decision of real English compound words was more accurate when the translated compounds (the combination of the translation equivalents of the constituents) in Korean (the nontarget language) were real words than when they were nonwords. In Experiment 2, when the frequency of the second constituents of compound words in English (the target language) was manipulated, the effect of lexical status of the translated compounds was greater on the compounds with high-frequency second constituents than on those with low-frequency second constituents in the target language. Together, these results provided evidence for morphological decomposition and cross-language activation in bilingual reading of compound words.

Keywords

Compound wordsKorean-English bilingualsDecompositionCross-language activation
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010