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Memory & Cognition

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 565–574 | Cite as

Automatic and controlled processes in the first- and second-language reading of fluent bilinguals

  • Micheline Favreau
  • Norman S. Segalowitz
Article

Abstract

Many fluent bilinguals read their two languages with equal levels of comprehension but read their second language at a slower rate. The present study examined whether, compared with first language reading, slower second-language reading is associated with reduced involvement of automatic processing during lexical access. Subjects were bilinguals with fluent speaking and listening skills under ordinary conditions of communication and with equivalent comprehension of their first and second languages when reading and listening under speeded conditions. Half these subjects, however, read their first and second languages equally fast, and half read the second language more slowly than the first. Subjects were tested on a lexical decision task that manipulated expectations about the semantic relatedness of prime and target words and the stimulus onset asynchrony between them. Bilinguals with equal first- and second-language reading rates produced in each language a pattern of reaction times suggesting automatic processing, whereas bilinguals with a slower second-language reading rate did so in their first language but not in their second.

Keywords

Target Word Lexical Decision Facilitation Effect Lexical Decision Task Reading Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Micheline Favreau
    • 1
  • Norman S. Segalowitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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