University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Location of Thesis Examination

Room 7409 Social Science Centre

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Psychology

Supervisor

Debra Jared

Abstract

One of the main questions in bilingualism is whether the representations activated from one language influence processing of the other language. The current study investigated this issue by examining masked phonological priming effects in Japanese-English bilinguals when English words (e.g., guy) were primed by phonologically related logographic (Kanji) words (e.g., 害, /gai/, “harm”) and also when English words (e.g., guide) were primed by phonologically similar phonogram (Katakana) words (e.g.,サイド, /saido/,”side”). In Experiment 1, lexical decisions to English words were facilitated when they were preceded by phonologically similar versus dissimilar primes, particularly when the primes were one-Kanji words and when they were Katakana words. Experiment 2 generally replicated Experiment 1, and showed priming effects in event-related potentials, although the effects were somewhat different from the behavioral data. The results are discussed with regard to the role of phonological activation in bilingual word recognition.