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Acta Psychologica Sinica
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Cross-language repetition priming effect of semantic access for trilinguals
LI Li1; ZHANG Yang1; LI Xuan1,2; GUO Hongting1,3; WU Limei4; WANG Ruiming5
(1 Key Laboratory of Chinese Learning and International Promotion of South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China) (2 School of Education, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, The UK, S102JA) (3 Taiyuan NO.2 Experimental Primary School, Taiyuan 031100, China) (4 College of Chinese Language and Culture, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510610, China) (5 School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
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Abstract  

In recent years, how to relate the lexical representation and conceptual representation of third language words what were studied newly of trilinguals, namely the semantic access of trilinguals, has raised great attention among researchers. Existing studies show that in the processing of achieving the task of word recognition, all the three languages of the trilinguals will be activated. Therefore, when acquiring the third language, the existing conceptual representation systems of the first and second languages of learners may become a potential source of influence or disturbance for learning. For this reason, the semantic access of trilinguals is the key issue to be studied. The present study discusses the semantic access mechanism of trilinguals using the task of cross-language repetition priming. The participants are 48 international students from Indonesia who are studying Chinese in Guangzhou. The independent variable is learning conditions (learned, never learned), the dependent variables are the reaction time and accuracy of word judgment. Experiment 1 discusses whether the equivalent words in first language will play a role as intermediary language in the semantic access of third language words presented visually and aurally; Experiment 2 discusses whether the trilinguals will resort to equivalent word in second language in the semantic access of third language vocabulary presented visually and aurally. The result of Experiment 1 shows that first language words plays a role as intermediary language in both the visual understanding and aural understanding of third language words, and this role is not restricted by visual channel or aural channel. The result of Experiment 2 shows that in the semantic task of visual presentation, the word of second language will play a role as intermediary language in the semantic access of third language; however in the semantic task of aural presentation, the equivalent words of second language don’t have the function of intermediary. In conclusion, the words of first language play a role as intermediary in the semantic access of third language, however the words of second language have a limited intermediary function in the semantic access. The result of this study shows the semantic access mechanism of a trilinguals is complicated in a totally different way comparing with that of a bilingual.

Keywords trilingual      semantic access      cross-language repetition priming      manner of acquisition      frequency of use     
Corresponding Authors: WANG Ruiming, E-mail: wangrm@scnu.edu.cn; LI Li, E-mail: liliwrm@163.com   
Issue Date: 25 November 2016
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LI Li
ZHANG Yang
LI Xuan
GUO Hongting
WU Limei
WANG Ruiming
Cite this article:   
LI Li,ZHANG Yang,LI Xuan, et al. Cross-language repetition priming effect of semantic access for trilinguals[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01401
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01401     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2016/V48/I11/1401
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