Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

The Activation of Segmental and Tonal information in Semantic Retrieval among Chinese-English Bilingual Readers

Chuchu Li (1), Candise Y. Lin (1), Min Wang (1), Nan Jiang (2)

(1) Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology; (2) Second Language Acquisition Program
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Three experiments using Stroop paradigm were designed in which Chinese-English bilinguals were asked to name the ink color of Chinese characters in Chinese in Experiment 1 and in English in Experiment 2 and 3. The visual stimuli were divided into five critical conditions: color characters, homophones of the color characters (S+T+), different-tone homophones (S+T-), characters that shared the same tones but differed in segments with the color character (S-T+), and neutral character (S-T-). Experiment 1 showed significant Stroop facilitation on all congruent conditions, while Experiment 2 only showed color character Stroop effect. In Experiment 3, an ABAB mixed-block design was used in which participants were asked to read Chinese characters in block A and name the ink color of thecharacters in English in block B. Both the congruent and incongruent S+T+ conditions showed a significant Stroop interference effect. These results suggested that in Chinese naming, both tonal information and segmental information is activated, and that Chinese phonological information, including segmental and tonal information, is not activated automatically in naming in English.

Index Terms: syllable segment, tone, cross-language activation, bilingual

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Li, Chuchu / Lin, Candise Y. / Wang, Min / Jiang, Nan (2012): "The activation of segmental and tonal information in semantic retrieval among Chinese-English bilingual readers", In SP-2012, 206-209.