Priming and online multiple language activation

Document Type


Publication Title

Methods in Bilingual Reading Comprehension Research


This chapter discusses cross-language activation in the course of processing language by bilingual speakers. We fi rst discuss the cross-modal lexical priming paradigm (CMLP), a powerful tool to explore online multiple language activation. We next provide an overview of research concerning multiple language activation in the course of bilingual lexical processing. Finally, we present results of four experiments examining the effects of context in connected speech on crosslanguage priming in Spanish-English bilinguals. Participants in Experiment 1 listened to sentences in Spanish, their fi rst language, and named Spanish and English targets, related or unrelated to a critical prime within the sentence. Experiment 2 was similar to Experiment 1, except that prior context was biased toward the critical prime. Experiments 3-4 were identical to Experiments 1-2, respectively, but with sentences in English, their second language. Comparable cross-language priming was observed for Experiments 1-2. Likewise, Experiments 3-4 showed similar priming patterns. However, the priming effect was signifi cantly higher for the L2-L1 language direction. Results are discussed in terms of language dominance mechanisms and the Revised Hierarchical Model of bilingual memory representation.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.