CLS Speaker Series - Gretchen Sunderman (Florida State University) The bilingual lexicon: Connecting words in the mind
The Bilingual Lexicon: Connecting Words in the Mind
Learning a second language (L2) necessarily entails building a new lexicon in that language. But how do L2 learners accomplish this feat given that they begin with a well-developed lexicon in their first language (L1)? In this talk, I first describe one of the most well-known developmental models of the lexicon, Kroll and Stewart’s (1994) Revised Hierarchical Model (RHM) and its predictions related to cross-language lexical and conceptual connections, focusing specifically on the notion of concept mediation within the RHM. I then describe two psycholinguistic production studies that have investigated conceptual mediation. The first study uses the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) false memory paradigm (Deese, 1959; Roediger & McDermott, 1995) to test L2 semantic associative links. The second study investigates the nature of learners’ errors as they named pictures in the L2 under blocked and mixed presentation. The results of the combined studies suggest 1) that conceptual mediation is related to more skilled performance, but comes at a cost to the L1 and 2) that control of spoken production may be affected by proficiency as well as individual differences in the ability to allocate cognitive resources. Finally, applications of the RHM for learning L2 vocabulary are presented.