ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2007, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (05): 795-806.

### Effect of Levels of Processing on Language-dependent Recall in Mandarin and Cantonese

Zhang Qianqiu,Zhang JiJia

1. Institute of Management, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, China

Department of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China

• Received:2005-09-12 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2007-09-30 Online:2007-09-30
• Contact: Zhang Jijia

Abstract: Introduction
Language-dependent effect is a new type of context-dependent memory, which combines the features of other types of dependent memory and has unique properties related to language. Through this effect, people may obtain a deeper understanding of the relationship between language and memory. Language-dependent effect is affected by many factors such as the familiarity of languages, characteristics of languages, and processing levels of learned materials. In this study, we determined the effects of the processing levels on language-dependent recall in Mandarin and Cantonese. The study included 2 experiments. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of processing levels on language-dependent effects in intentional learning, and Experiment 2 determined the effects of processing levels on language-dependent effects in incidental learning.
Methods
Eighteen students from 2 universities in Guangzhou City participated in Experiment 1. They spoke Mandarin and Cantonese fluently. They were asked to study 2 groups of Korean words (all words were unfamiliar), each in Mandarin and Cantonese test environments, and then perform recognition tasks in Mandarin and Cantonese test environments. The reaction time, false alarms, power to discriminate old and new words, and R (remember)/K (know)/G (guess) judgments to responses were analyzed. Twenty-four students from 2 universities in Guangzhou City participated in Experiment 2. They also spoke Mandarin and Cantonese fluently. They were asked to evaluate the favoritism to 2 groups of Korean words (all words were unfamiliar) in Mandarin and Cantonese environments and then perform recognition tasks in Mandarin and Cantonese environments. The response indices were identical to those of Experiment 1.
Results
The results of Experiment 1 showed that the language environment of the test affected the memory retrieval in intentional learning. Compared to the results in Mandarin test environments, the subjects recognized the learned words faster, made fewer false alarms to interferences, showed stronger discrimination power to old and new words, and made more “R” judgments in Cantonese test environments. Experiment 2 that involved incidental learning showed results similar to those of Experiment 1. The subjects made faster reaction to learned words, made more “R” judgments but produced more false alarms to interferences and showed weaker discrimination power to old and new words in Cantonese environments; furthermore, they made slower reactions to learned words, made more “K” and “G” judgments but produced fewer false alarms to interferences and showed stronger discrimination power to old and new words in Mandarin test environment. The study indicated that language-dependent recall occurred in both intentional and incidental learning, however, language-dependent effects in the 2 learning types showed different tendencies. These results clarified that the level of processing was an important factor that affected language-dependent recall.
Conclusion
1. In the learning of unfamiliar materials, language-dependent effects were observed in Mandarin-Cantonese diglossia subjects. The language environments of tests had important effects on word recognition.
2. The levels of processing affected the language-dependent effects of Mandarin-Cantonese diglossia subjects. In addition to the different levels of processing, the tendencies of language-dependent effects of Mandarin-Cantonese diglossia subjects differed

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