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Visual word access in monolinguals and bilinguals in English and Spanish


Strid JEJ , Booth JRJames . Bilinguals: Cognition, Education and Language Processing . 123-46


This research examined if visual word access varies according to language and bilingual status by comparing Spanish and English, priming two syllable CVCV words with bilingual children and monolingual children. The results suggest that lexical access in English is based on a larger phonological sub-lexical unit because of greater report of a unit bigger than the syllable, among both bilingual and monolingual subjects. In contrast, only weak evidence suggested that Spanish lexical access was based on the syllable because of greater report of that unit for bilinguals and monolinguals. Finally, monolingual or bilingual status of the reader did not have influence on English lexical access; however, Spanish bilinguals were influenced by the acquisition of English, suggesting that orthographically opaque languages can have an effect on transparent languages or that immersion, language dominance and literacy experience can influence reading in the other language.