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English Word Recognition Strategies by Native Speakers of Russian (Evidence from Russian-English bilinguals).

The present paper focuses on studying visual word recognition strategies in bilinguals. Although bilingualism has been a thoroughly discussed issue in psycholinguistic literature little emphasis was given to the domain of word recognition strategies. Since word recognition is an essential reading skill and the cornerstone of language comprehension and language acquisition, it occupies a prominent place in psycholinguistic research. Word recognition strategies have been the topic of investigation in cognitive psychology, neurolinguistics, SLA theory. The bulk of research in this domain was centered round cognitive and metacognitive communicative strategies for word recognition and their pedagogical implications, namely the problem of building communicative strategic competence in L2 learners. In our study we attempt at approaching word recognition strategies from psycholinguistic perspective and try to elaborate a comprehensive set of semantic strategies used by bilinguals in the classroom setting for L2 word recognition. So far in psycholinguistic research on word recognition strategies the role of semantics has been unduly overlooked. We hypothesized that proficient L2 learners (Russian-English bilinguals) explicitly and/or implicitly make use of a set of semantic and cognitive strategies for visual word recognition. We hypothesized further that L1 must both facilitate and interfere with the process of recognition on formal and semantic (conceptual) level. To test our hypothesis and gain clear evidence for the proposed assumption we carried out a word association experiment.

Key words: visual word recognition, Russian-English bilingualism, mental lexicon, lexical access,
L2 Acquisition, cross-cultural interactions

Word recognition processes are implicit in natural speech processing. For a skilled and highly proficient language user with extensive vocabulary word identification is an unconscious, automatic and instantaneous process that occurs in a fraction of a second (Muller, 2008). However word recognition is a complex multidimensional strategic process that is accomplished on different levels of information processing (perceptual, cognitive, and affective: emotional and evaluative). Investigating word recognition presupposes studying underlying cognitive components and mechanisms. The beginning of our study presents an overview of the existing theoretical principles and concepts and empirical evidence with regard to lexical access, perceptual and cognitive components of recognition, bilingual and multilingual mental lexicon. We proceed further to analyzing semantic strategies of visual single word recognition in bilingual context. We address the following questions: - Does recognition of a word form automatically activate conceptual information in bilinguals? - How does the representation of a new language develop and then co-exist with the representations of other languages in the bilingual mental lexicon? How do co-existing language systems influence each other? The second part is devoted to investigating bilingual language processing in terms of crosslanguage and cross-cultural interactions between languages. We discuss the phenomenon of interlanguage, language consciousness and its ethno-cultural specificity. In the final part we describe the experiment that we conducted in order to detect word identification strategies and interactions within and between L1 and L2+. We review methods used for data collection and analysis.

Pedagogical and theoretical implications of the present study, further research possibilities and limitations are discussed in the conclusion. The main objectives of the present study include: - Investigating bilingual language processing: lexical access, mental representations of words, depth of word knowledge, underlying perceptive and cognitive components of recognition. - Present a comprehensive study of L2 word recognition in bilingual learners and elaborate a comprehensive classification of universal semantic strategies and cues. - Review the existing theoretical and empirical research findings. - Investigate cross-language and cross-cultural interactions and their impact on word recognition process. The working hypothesis of our research consists in a prediction that English word recognition by native speakers of Russian is achieved through a set of semantic strategies and cues. The process of identification is mediated by cross-linguistic facilitation and interference and cross-cultural interference. Word recognition research has been central on the development of theories of automatic and attentional processes (e.g., Healy & Drewnowski, 1983; LaBerge & Samuels, 1974; Neely, 1977; Posner & Snyder, 1975).

Theoretical Framework. Recognition of a word as a unit of mental lexicon.

To begin with, it is essential to establish the basic terminology of our study: to define the concept of word recognition, word identification, decoding, comprehension and lexical inferencing. Figure 1 demonstrates the process of word recognition as a continuum which starts with decoding and ends in comprehension. Word recognition is the bridge between decoding and comprehension. Decoding is concerned with formal aspect of recognition, i.e. processing of a letter string in visual recognition or a sound sequence in auditory recognition. Recognition implies retrieving appropriate formal and semantic/conceptual information from the mental lexicon. The ability to simply decode words (retrieve phonological, orthographic, even morphological information) is not sufficient for comprehension (as it is possible to read foreign words without knowing their meaning). Thus, the word may be recognized but comprehended incorrectly or not understood altogether. To retrieve the meaning information about word form has to be integrated and processed on a semantic level using semantic strategies and tapping into background world knowledge and knowledge of culture. Decoding Comprehension Semantic Strategies and cues Socio-cultural Competence (Acculturation) Morphological Decoding Background Knowledge

Orthographic Decoding

Phonological Decoding

Word Recognition

Figure 1

One of the main characteristics of language fluency is automaticity (rapid and automatic word recognition). Fluency is one of the key components of comprehension. When a readers decoding skills are automatic, all cognitive energy can be focused on inferring the meaning. Repeated exposure and opportunities to use the new words in appropriate contexts (not in isolation) leads to automatic recognition and the beginnings of comprehension. According to specialists in vocabulary acquisition and teaching, words should be used in meaningful contexts between ten and fifteen times to become integrated into the lexicon and therefore automatically processed. Words that beginning readers initially sound out through word analysis or phonics come to be recognized as whole units. 2


Learners who have difficulty with word recognition often misread words by substituting a similar-looking known word for the target word (e.g.: carrying for carriage or immorality for immortality; week instead of weak or see instead of sea). To what such recognition errors and many other can be attributed? Linguistic knowledge alone is insufficient for accounting for such phenomena. We must consider the properties of the human mind from psycholinguistic perspective as well as the structure of the language. For many years, the prevailing assumption within the word recognition literature was that word recognition was automatic and did not demand any attentional resources for successful completion (Stroop, 1935; Besner & Stolz, 1999). More recent studies have indicated that although word recognition is an effortless and accurate process for many people, it still demands cognitive energy (e.g., Herdman, 1992; Kellas, Ferraro, & Simpson, 1988; Simpson, Kellas, & Ferraro, 1999). Strategic processing has been shown to involve attentional resources and affect word recognition performance (Carr, Davidson, & Hawkins, 1978; Henderson, 1982; Manelis, 1974; Neely, Keefe, & Ross, 1989). In other words, skilled readers exert strategic control over various coding and decoding mechanisms thought to impact visual word recognition (Milota, Widau, McMickell, Juola, and Simpson, 1997). The process of word recognition and word comprehension is complex and multi-dimensional. And as any complex subject it can be tackled in multiple ways and from several perspectives: psycholinguistic, cognitive and sociolinguistic and within the framework of SLA theory. A thorough investigation of this phenomenon requires taking into account all variables: bilingual lexical access and language processing, mental representations of words and concepts in bilingual mind, crosslanguage and cross-cultural interactions, strategic nature of word recognition, variability of semantic and cognitive strategies, individual learner's variables. From psycholinguistic perspective word recognition (identification) represents the entire set of psychological, cognitive and linguistic processing faculties necessary for comprehension of a word in isolation or in context. These processes operate consciously and unconsciously, explicitly and implicitly and imply subjective readiness to recruit a larger scope of background content knowledge and products of previous experience. Word recognition is the most basic and the most critical process in reading representing the ability of a reader to identify words (a string of printed letters) rapidly, accurately and virtually effortlessly in isolation and within the context. In this respect by word identification we mean access to its contextually relevant meaning or any meaning (if a word is given in isolation). In our research we focus primarily on isolated word recognition without the benefit of surrounding words for contextual help. Although L2 vocabulary acquisition is a widely researched area in psycholinguistics, relatively little is known about the actual processes that take place during the course of lexical activation, recognition and comprehension. Furthermore, the notion of word knowledge is also problematic. What does knowing a word encompass? What are the criteria of knowing a word? It is essential to examine what it means to know a word as a prerequisite to investigating word recognition strategies. Words are learnt incrementally, not "in a not acquired/acquired manner" (Schmitt, 1998), thus there are different levels of knowing a word, and different strategies can be applied to its recognition at any given time. The most well-defined and comprehensive description of word knowledge is given by Nation (1990), consisting of eight word categories: spoken form, written form, grammatical behaviour, collocational behaviour, frequency, stylistic register constraints, meaning, and associations. These categories include both receptive and productive skills. Anderson and Freebody (1981, as cited in Read, 2004) defined depth of word knowledge as "the quality of understanding a word", which means that a word can be considered known by a learner if all the distinctions that would be understood by an adult native speaker in normal conditions are clear to them. This definition refers only to precision of meaning and disregards the fact that most highfrequency words in the English language might have numerous meanings, senses and connotations or are vague (especially when seen out of context, as it happens in many test situations). The third way of describing depth of word knowledge was suggested by Henriksen (1999) as network knowledge. In his view, the greater a learners vocabulary size, the more there is a need for 3

new words to be incorporated into an already existing network of words, which therefore needs to be restructured. Thus, depth of word knowledge is the ability to relate to semantically linked words. The problem is all the more complex since it can be assumed that individuals differ in the way they acquire new words and retain them in the memory and subsequent semantic strategies that they apply to recognize them. The essentials of word recognition can be considered by addressing three main questions: 1. What is being recognized (i.e. what does a learner know when he/she knows / understands the word)? 2. How is recognition achieved (i.e. what are perceptual and cognitive mechanisms underlying word recognition)? 3. Based on what cognitive and semantic strategies? WHAT?
Psychological Structure of Word Meaning (conventional systematic language meaning + subjective "sense") Concept


Inner perceptual-cognitive-affective context of previous experience (verbal and non-verbal). Background knowledge Information Thesaurus / Individual Knowledge (language and encyclopedic knowledge) Individual World View Mental Lexicon


Cognitive Strategies and structure-semantics clues Strategic Models of Identification

Lexical Access and Word Recognition Figure 2 Word recognition is not equivalent to the identification of a lexical meaning of the word in its traditional interpretation (i.e. the way it is presented in Thesauri; dictionary meaning); nor does it coincide with semantic representations. What is being recognized is defined as psychological structure of meaning (Zalevskaya) which encompasses invariant conventional linguistic meaning shared by all language speakers in a particular ethno-social group and a certain unique personal sense of the word. The latter gravitates to "concept" which expresses genuine non-verbal meaning. Word recognition operates on two levels of processing: 1) perceptual (orthographic processing decoding of written / printed word form; phonological processing - decoding of sound form); 2) cognitive (lexical access, semantic and conceptual processing, cognitive control). The link between perception and cognition is maintained through top-down and / or bottom-up processing. Bottom level is represented by perceptual input (letter string or for visual perception or a sequence of sounds for auditory perception). Integration of all information about the stimulus (phonological, orthographic, syntactic representations) and access to the meaning occurs at the top level of cognitive processing. In top-down processing semantic context directly impacts word 4

recognition in lexical inferencing, anticipation, restoration of a deficient input signal, making hypotheses about word meaning, correcting errors that might occur on the perceptual level etc. Recognition passes several stages of processing: 1) Pre-lexical processing: perceptual analysis of whole-word shape, orthographic and phonological decoding; 2) Lexical decision: whether a particular letter string is a word in the target language or a non-word; 3) Lexical access: matching of the word form to an entry in the mental lexicon and retrieving semantic information; 4) Post-lexical processing: lexical selection, verification of the semantic hypotheses; 5) Word Recognition. Word can be recognized on two levels that correspond to the depth of semantic access: surface level and deep level. The evidence for this hypothesis is derived from analyzing errors: e.g., substituting the target word with a phonologically or orthographically similar word form and no connection in meaning (week weak; sea see; ship sheep; sun son). Theoretical support for this conjecture is provided by Chomsky's level theory and motivational and semantic levels of Osgood. Surface-structure level is a superficial level of word forms with no access to semantics. Deepstructure level implies access to meaning through retrieving lexical and conceptual representations. The two-level recognition process is traceable to the basic 'form-and-content' dychotomic relationship. Levels of word identification correspond with Smirnov's theory of levels of intellectual activity (1996) and Woodworth and Schlosberg's experimental hypothesis of reactions (1954). Surface-level identification requires minimal cognitive energy and intellectual effort. Levels of recognition reflect structural organization of mental lexicon (Zalevskaya, Zolotova). Surface-structure tier accounts for the formal aspect of lexical units and contains phonological and orthographic information. Surface tier has to sub-tiers: a sub-tier of sound (auditory) forms and a subtier of orthographic (visual) forms. Deep-structure tier stores all semantic information about words. The following cognitive components are recruited in accessing the meaning of a lexical unit: a. Inner perceptual-cognitive-affective context of previous experience (verbal and non-verbal). Word meaning represents a certain fragment of previous experience (situational, emotional etc.). b. Information Thesaurus / Individual Knowledge (linguistic and encyclopaedic knowledge). Word is not a carrier of the meaning per se but a medium of accessing the information database (thesaurus / long-term memory) of a learner. According to the "Hologram hypothesis" (Zalevskaya) of storage and retrieval of information the word highlights a certain discrete fragment of relevant information like a laser beam. c. Individual worldview. According to a psycholinguistic theory of word (Zalevskaya), word transcends the world of language and taps into individual worldview with all its manifold of beliefs, notions, conceptual relationships, emotive and evaluative nuances. d. Mental Lexicon. Word recognition operates on the basis of mental lexicon and is mediated by mental representations of words (phonetic, orthographic, morphological, semantic). As a unit of mental lexicon a word is identified through a diverse interactive system of verbal associative connections with other lexical units. Words are acquired and stored together with a flexible set of semantic strategies for recognition. Levels of recognition correspond to levels of semantic processing which in their turn correspond to levels of mental lexicon: surface- and deep-structure tiers (Chomsky, Osgood, Zalevskaya) e. Word recognition has a strategic nature and interactive character and is achieved through a diverse set of semantic strategies and structure-dependent semantic cues that operate on different levels of awareness. Cognitive components together with levels and stages of recognition constitute word identification system (as shown in Figure 2).

Lexical Access
Lexical access is an indispensable stage of word recognition entering the mental lexicon to retrieve relevant information about the stimulus. This information is stored in the form of mental 5

representations (Aitchison 2003). For each lexical entry there exist phonological (sound), orthographic (spelling), morphological (affixes that constitute the word), syntactical (lexical valency and combinability), semantic (meaning) and conceptual (notion) representations. Word recognition, thus, can be defined as the process of retrieving mental representations based on the form of the input. The process of accessing this information is interactive (Massaro, Coltheart, Zalevskaya). The presentation of a letter string leads to the subsequent activation of several possible orthographic and phonological word candidates in relatively close correspondence to the input. For example all words (orthographic and phonological neighbors) that differ from the presented input in only one letter position become active. In subsequent stages of word recognition a more careful analysis of the input is performed resulting in the reduction of the number of possible lexical candidates and finally in the identification of the target word. The most comprehensive and authoritative account of lexical access in speech production was offered by Levelt (1989). Based on Levelt's theory we elaborated the revised model of visual word recognition for reception and comprehension (Figure 3).

Perceptual Level

Orthographic / Phonological Decoding

Morphemic Decoding (Decomposition)

Form Recognition Strategy

Cognitive Level

Lemma Selection Semantic Recognition Strategy


Figure 3 Levelts original (1989) model featured four major stages (conceptualization, formulation, articulation and self-monitoring) that in our model for speech comprehension assume the reversed position: 1. Orthographic and phonological decoding of the input: identification of the input (letter string) on a perceptual level and grapheme-phoneme conversion (sounding out) of the word form; 2. Morphemic decoding: morphological analysis - decomposition of a derivative or a compound word; 3. Lemma selection: cognitive processing of the input integrating orthographic, phonetic and morphological representations and retrieving a lexical representation (selecting from a number of potential candidates that were activated). 4. Conceptualization: converting lexical information into a concept (notion); 5. Verification (bottom-up processing is replaced by top-down processing to ensure accuracy of word recognition with the help of contextual clues); 6. Inhibitory control. One disputable question in bilingual word recognition process is whether individuals who speak more than one language selectively access lexical representations in a target language or whether they non-selectively activate lexical representations in both languages, regardless of the language currently in use. 6

The language-selective hypothesis postulates that information extracted from the stimulus is sent directly to the appropriate set of language-specific representations (Macnamara, 1967). A language switch mechanism was first proposed by Penfield and Roberts (1959) who argued that the functional separation of languages takes place by an automatic switch at the neurophysiological level (Albert & Obler, 1978). Kolers (1966) in his experiment asked participants to read passages in one or two languages. Comprehension was unaffected by mixing the languages, but speed of reading was slower in the mixed-language condition. Kolers concluded that the meanings of words are represented in a languagefree form in long-term memory, while a time consuming language switch at the decoding level ensures language-specific lexical access. By guiding sensory information to the appropriate lexical system, the language switch thus enables the bilingual to avoid interference from the inappropriate language. However, the idea of an input switch has been subsequently dismissed on the basis of further empirical evidence. The language non-selective hypothesis proposes, on the other hand, that the information from language input can come in contact with lexical representations from both languages as a result of their orthographic or phonological overlap with the input. The evidence from interlingual homographs and cognates in experiments in word recognition has consistently demonstrated that bilinguals are unable to selectively activate one of their languages. Bilingual language comprehension involves parallel, simultaneous, language non-selective activation of both languages during visual (Kroll & Stewart, 1994; Van Hell & De Groot, 1998; Dijkstra, De Bruijn, Schriefers, & Brinke, 2000; Dijkstra, Grainger, & Van Heuven, 1999; Jared & Kroll, 2001; Jared & Szucs, 2002; Van Heuven, Dijkstra, & Grainger, 1998; Von Studnitz & Green, 2002; Van Hell & Dijkstra, 2002) and auditory word recognition (e.g., Spivey & Marian, 1999). Parallel activation is irrespective of script differences across languages. Evidence from ChineseEnglish and Russian-English bilinguals, notably the presence of cross-linguistic phonological effects, indicates script differences are not used as a language node cue to restrict language selection process. Furthermore, evidence of non-selectivity persists irrespective of the surrounding language context, task instructions, or participants' expectations to process one or multiple languages (Dijkstra et al., 2000b; Dijkstra & Van Hell, 2003). Research has provided compelling evidence for the conjecture that lexical access is non-selective and driven by the stimulus properties of the input, and not by the intentions of the reader. However, Dijkstra points out that particular tasks or experimental circumstances might induce language-specific access. Specific task instructions or stimulus list composition can have an inhibitory effect on bilingual word recognition. Nevertheless, bilinguals can't fully suppress one of their languages at will (Brysbaert, Van Dyck, and Van de Poel, 1999). In an attempt to reconcile language selectivity and non-selectivity F. Grosjean introduced the concept of "language mode" or "speech mode" (1994, 1997a, 1998a) to define the state of activation of the bilingual's languages and language processing mechanisms at a given point in time. Bilingual speakers may be in a bilingual mode or a monolingual mode depending on the situational continuum. In the bilingual mode bilingual knows he/she is interacting with another bilingual speaker; both of his languages are activated to a certain degree which prompts instances of interference, code-switching, code-mixing and borrowings. In the monolingual communicative setting bilinguals will restrict themselves to one language only, i.e. will be in a monolingual mode. One of the languages will be deactivated or consciously inhibited (Green, 1998). Bilinguals constantly unconsciously or consciously shift along the continuum so that their languages are always at different levels of activation. There are a number of factors that affect the language mode such as interlocutors, content and function of the discourse, setting, context, specific task demands, the level of the bilinguals proficiency in each language, attitude towards language mixing etc. For example if a bilingual is in the company of monolinguals he is in a monolingual mode, but if they start speaking of the book that the bilingual had read before in his other language it can trigger his shift to a bilingual mode. This principle applies both to language production and language reception and comprehension. According to Grosjean, the bilingual's language mode affects perception and the speed of access to one or two lexicons.

From the perspective of the second language acquisition theory the notion of language mode provides an interesting context in which to explore the changes that accompany increased L2 proficiency. Specifically what sort of developmental processes must occur to enable the learner to achieve cognitive control over the relative influence of the factors that determine language mode? When less fluent individuals attempt to assume a monolingual mode in L2 or bilingual language mode there will be processing costs, if those states require active inhibition of one language, or selective attention to cues in the language environment.

Mental Lexicon
We store a great deal of information about the properties of words in our mental lexicon, and we retrieve this information when we understand or produce speech. Lexical retrieval in both production and reception is assisted by the way in which lexical entries and concepts are stored in the mind. Current models envisage them as linked by a complex interactive hierarchical network of interconnections (e.g.: visual dictionary

Figure 4 All lexical unites enter into two types of associative relationships: intrinsic (phonological, morphological, semantic, syntactic) and purely associative. According to Levelt, intrinsic semantic relationships include characterization (hypo/hyperonimic sets), similarity (synonymic sets) and contrast (antonyms) (as seen in Figure 4). Words with common semantic features are grouped into bundles called semantic fields. According to Levelt, associative connections are not conditioned by meaning but rather by the frequency of co-occurrence in the language (e.g.: CHAIR-TABLE, CHAIRMEETING). The connections between words differ in strength, with CHAIR-TABLE much stronger than CHAIR-BED.

Associative connections within the mental lexicon depend on the sensory modality of perception of the input. For example: a word such as CHAIR has links to others in the lexical set of furniture. But, for listeners, it also has links to words such as CARE that resemble it phonologically and, for readers, links to words such as CHAIN which resemble it orthographically. Listeners and readers are assisted by a process of spreading activation. On encountering a word such as doctor, they automatically activate closely linked words such as nurse or patient, and thus recognize them more readily if and when they occur. This phenomenon is otherwise known as semantic priming effect, which measures how much faster words are identified when preceded by a word that appears to be associated with them. The architectural organization of bilingual mental lexicon reveals a complex multidimensional structure: nucleus and periphery; surface- and deep-structure tiers. Meara argues that all previous research treats the bilingual's lexicon as though it consisted of one or two undifferentiated wholes. He concludes that there is no reason to assume that all the words in the lexicon should behave in the same way as each other, and just as words are differentiated in the lexicons of monolingual speakers in terms of frequency, length, and other similar objective characteristics, it is quite likely that similar features may produce subsets of words in the bilingual's mental lexicon which also have quite different behavioural properties. From this perspective it is inappropriate to ask whether the bilingual's two word stores are integrated or independent as wholes, and it might make much more sense to assume that some words will be integrated while others will not, and thus to shift the focus of attention to individual words and semantic fields. Wolter (2001) through investigating how depth of word knowledge affects the connections of L2 word with other lexical items in the mental lexicon, found that the better known a particular word was, the more central the position it occupied in the lexicon. Nucleus contains high-frequency concrete words (nouns and adjectives). According to van Hell and de Groot (1998) concrete words might be stored together in the bilingual memory due to a shared conceptual representation. Paradigmatic connections are formed in the centre, syntagmatic associations are typically further outside. Phonological responses ("clang" associations) are found on the periphery, indicating that connection to other words becomes looser as the speakers knowledge of the depth of a word decreases. According to Wolter, phonological links are located on the periphery indicating that a word is not known well enough to establish paradigmatic or syntagmatic meaningful connections. However this generalization is not always true: phonologically similar rhyming responses can sometimes represent an association strategy regardless of the learner's word knowledge. Several conclusions could be drawn from the above mentioned theories confirming the findings of previous research studies. Firstly, the better-known an L2 word is, the more central position it occupies in the learners mental lexicon. Secondly, word pairs of concrete nouns tend to be stored together in memory. Nouns have a significant organizing role in learners bilingual lexicon. On the surface tier of mental lexicon word forms are stored together with their formal representations (phonemic form phonological representation, graphic form orthographic representation). Access to the word form requires minimal intellectual effort and cognitive energy. Identification on a formal level is a prerequisite to proceeding to accessing the deep level of semantic features and meanings of words that are stored on the deep-structure tier. Words are grouped on the basis of semantic relevancy. Deep-structure connections between words are formed involving the mechanism of deep predication (Zalevskaya, Luria). With regard to the structure and organization of the mental lexicon, it is important to discuss what kind of information is contained in it. It has been acknowledged that mental lexicon contains concepts, word forms, word meanings (semantic knowledge). Levelt claims that the smallest unit of mental lexicon is not a word but a lemma. A word's meaning as a whole is represented by a network of relations (Collins & Loftus, 1975, and Collins & Quillian, 1969). Bock & Levelt (1994) worked out network model of mental lexicon with three levels of representation: the conceptual level, the lemma level, and the lexeme level. In this view knowledge of words involves three types of information. First, knowledge of a word's meaning (e.g.: a sheep is a kind of domestic animal, that produces milk and wool; these are properties of a lexical concept 9

SHEEP). Second, syntactic properties of a word (e.g.: sheep is a noun; verbs can be transitive or intransitive). Syntactic properties of a word in their entirety are represented by a lemma. Lemmas contrast with lexemes, which capture the word's form properties: morphological and phonological shape (e.g., sheep is monomorphemic and consists of three phonological segments). A part of this lexical network is shown in Figure 5. It depicts some of the knowledge we have about the words sheep and goat. The easiest way to induce concept node activation is to present a picture for naming. The assumption is that the picture activates the concept. An active lexical concept spreads its activation to all connected concept nodes. So if the SHEEP node is active, the GOAT node will receive some activation as well (either directly, or via mediating nodes such as ANIMAL or MILK). In addition, activation will spread from the lexical concept node to the corresponding lemma node. In this framework, lexical selection is selection of the appropriate lemma node. So, if SHEEP is the active lexical concept, the lemma sheep should be retrieved. It would be an error of selection if goat were retrieved. There is nonetheless a small chance for such a mishap, because some activation spreads from SHEEP to GOAT and from there to the lemma goat. The described process is defined as lexicalization of the concept. A similar task is achieved in an association experiment (see further), only instead of a picture the stimulus for lexicalization is a word form.

Figure 5 A part of the lexical network.

The most dramatic reflection of the rift between the lemma and lexeme levels is the so-called tipof-the-tongue (TOT) phenomenon. It was described by William James (1890) and later discussed by Woodworth (1938) and systematically studied for the first time by R. Brown and McNeill (1966). In terms of the network model, the TOT phenomenon is a failure to access the lexeme from the lemma. 10

The speaker knows the meaning to be expressed (i.e., the concept) and the word's syntax (the lemma). Only the word form (the lexeme) is blocked (A. S. Brown, 1991; Levelt, 1989). The main drawback of Levelt's model is that it does not differentiate concepts from semantics. Researchers polemicize over the definitions of conceptual and semantic knowledge. Although in L1 production the two are considered inseparable, as regards the L2 lexicon, there is still an ongoing debate whether the two can and should be differentiated or not (Pavlenko, 1999). When speaking about bilingual lexicon the primary question to be addressed is whether second language learner possesses one or two separate lexicons for words in each language (Golland and Kroll 2001 Francis 1999). How do two or more languages co-exist in the mind? There are three possible permutations: a) languages exist separately from each other (dual language system hypothesis); b) languages intertwine, fuse with one another and concepts are interrelated (unitary language system hypothesis); c) languages exist separately but share common semantic and conceptual representations. According to the unitary language system hypothesis (Geneese & Nicoladis, 2006) bilinguals have one, undifferentiated language system which is not identical to the language organization in monolinguals. Paul Meara hypothesizes that words in a second language are integrated in some way with words in the first language to form a complex whole lexicon. Stroop colour test adjusted for English-French bilinguals found that bilinguals are generally aware of the language in which words are presented, and they use language node cue as a classifying label more successfully than they use other more arbitrary coding features such as colour. The results of the test show clearly than when some kind of cognitive operation other than simple recall of the phonetic form is called for, it becomes extremely difficult to keep two languages apart. In this sense, forms in one language clearly evoke the corresponding related forms in the other language, a finding which would be very difficult to explain if the independent lexicons claim were true. Some researchers suggested that lexical forms were represented separately but shared a common semantic (concept) system (Potter, So, Von Ekardt, and Feldman 1984; Smith 1997; Paradis, 1994). However this conjecture was refuted later on the premise that at least under some circumstances lexical representations may be integrated (Van Heuven Dijkstra, and Grainger, 1998) and although certain core aspects of semantic representations may be converging across languages, differences in usage and contexts may limit the extent to which the semantics are shared (De Groot 1993, Pavlenko 1999). Separate lexicon models tend to be associated with selective access whereas integrated models assume non-selective (parallel) access (Van Heuven 1998). However by itself, independence of lexicons does not imply language-selective access. Theoretically, it is perfectly acceptable to think that two separate lexicons of a bilingual are activated simultaneously to the extent that the input matches representations within each lexicon (Van Heuven, Dijkstra, & Grainger, 1998). Research has verified that there is a shared bilingual lexicon, and the lexical items of both languages compete for word selection. Mearas studies (1982, 1984 as cited in Wolter, 2001) indicated that connections in the L2 lexicon are less stable than those of native speakers, phonology plays a more significant role in the organization of the L2 lexicon and semantic links are systematically different from those of native speakers. Wolter (2001) found that for well-known words native and non-native mental lexicons were found to be structurally different, whereas for less well-known words they were found to be similar. This is also supported by Wilks and Meara (2002), who claimed that there are higher numbers of connections at the core of the lexicon than at the periphery, and postulated that the network structure of L1 and L2 lexicon might differ because L1 lexical items are more connected than L2 ones. According to Wolter (2001), it is the depth of word knowledge that might play a pivotal role in establishing to what extent individual words are integrated into the structure of the L1 and L2 lexicons. As for the conceptual organization of the mental lexicon, several models have been put forward. The hierarchical network model (Collins & Quillian, 1969, 1970, 1972) claims that concepts are organized as pyramids with superordinate ones (e.g., plant) at the top, more specific ones in the 11

middle (flower) and subordinate ones (e.g., rose) at the bottom; and each word is only linked to the closest concept. Some typical features of the model include cognitive economy (the more typical a semantic feature is, the higher the level it is stored) and category size effect (the larger the category, the longer the time the search takes). Feature comparison model (Smith, Shoben & Rips, 1974) assumes that two different types of characteristics are stored: defining features (which are indispensable for a category to be included) and characteristic ones (which are typical but not necessary). For example, a defining feature is that all birds have feathers, while a typical one is that they fly (which is not true for all the birds). The spreading activation model (Collins, 1969, 1970) represents concepts as connected nodes with differing lengths of line between different concepts, based on the degree of their association. For example, the degree of association is higher between concepts such as parrot and speaks than between parrot and skin, which means that in the former case the connection between the concepts is stronger and shorter. Out of the three theories the spreading activation model is the most well-founded, for two reasons. Firstly, although it is a network of associations, its structure does not imply a rigid hierarchy, but allows for words to be related to several others. Secondly, there is no need to distinguish between defining and characteristic features, because the stronger the association, the closer the connection between the two concepts. Aitchisons cobweb theory (2003) is very similar to this: in her view, words are connected to each other in a way that one lexical item might be directly linked with several other lexical items on the basis of phonology, orthography, syntax or semantics.

Conceptual Approach
Early accounts of the bilinguals cognitive system examined the issue of how a foreign language learner who already has a fully-fledged lexicon and conceptual system for their native language represents newly acquired information in a second language. An important feature of L2 vocabulary acquisition for adult learners is that new words must be linked to old concepts. The problem of acquiring new L2 vocabulary is not simply a matter of adding new information to memory and linking it appropriately, but also a matter of negotiating the increased ambiguity and competition that the inclusion of the new L2 information entails. This competition undoubtedly affects word recognition process in second language. Consequently the question of the relationship between concepts and L2 words is to be addressed. How L2 words are converted into concepts in the mind of a second language learner? To what extent do the conceptual representations of translation equivalents in a bilinguals two languages overlap or diverge? These questions relates to, but go beyond the issue of whether a bilingual individual has two separate lexical systems each associated with separate underlying conceptual representations or an integrated, shared system. Traditionally, a long-standing debate has the adherents of "a double store" hypothesis (Kolers, 1963; Gerard & Scarborough, 1989) on one side and the proponents of "a single store" hypothesis (Ehri, Ryan, 1980) on the other side. Paradis put forward a compromise "three-store" hypothesis, which postulates that a bilingual has two mental lexicons and a single concept system which is connected with L1 and L2 vocabularies (Paradis 1979, 1980, 1994, 1997). He differentiates between word forms (orthographic and phonological forms with their syntactic properties), word meanings (which are often language-dependent), and conceptual features (the nonlinguistic mental representations underlying human thought). Paradis model builds on a proposal by Kolers (1968) that bilinguals either store all information centrally in one store and have access to it equally or store it in two separate conceptual stores, one associated with each language. Paradis suggested that there may be a single conceptual store but that languages differ in how they organize experience and thus differentially access the common conceptual-experiential store. In addition, Paradis ventured that L1 may depend more on implicit, procedural memory because it has been acquired spontaneously, whereas L2 depends more on explicit, declarative memory if it has been acquired largely through formal school instruction. Francis (1999) has reviewed the extensive literature on this topic and concluded that the evidence supports a single, integrated concept representation view. At the same time, however, cross-language 12

effects on a variety of tasks ranging from priming to Stroop test typically tend to be weaker than comparable same-language effects, suggesting that although a bilinguals languages may access a common conceptual system, the mapping of lexical to conceptual referents and perhaps even the nature of the conceptual referents themselves may differ across the two languages (Paradis, 1979; de Groot, 1992; de Groot, Dannenburg, & Van Hell, 1994). Researchers of bilingual language processing and lexical storage and retrieval proposed the following models of correlation between lexical and conceptual representations. These models provide a starting point for understanding how a learners cognitive system adapts to the presence of a second language. Potter, So, Von Eckardt, and Feldman (1984) contrasted two alternative models for how a learner might integrate new L2 knowledge into their existing L1 language system. According to the Word Association model, associations are formed between new L2 words and their corresponding translation equivalents in L1. In this view, L2 lexical and conceptual access is mediated by L1. In contrast, the Concept Mediation model assumes that L2 words have direct access to their respective meanings without L1 activation. Kroll found evidence that the choice of model depends on the level of proficiency: novice bilinguals tend to use the word association model while expert bilinguals revert to concept mediation model. Distributed Model (Conceptual Feature Model) (De Groot, 1992; 1994; 1995). A bilingual individual has a single concept system which has a common center (converging elements of meaning) and two separate peripheral sectors (language-specific elements of meaning). Therefore, the meaning of correlating words in L1 and L2 is manifested not in one shared concept but is distributed in the group of conceptual bundles which results in partial divergence in the meaning of translation equivalents. Single words are connected to concepts and the same word might be represented differently or similarly in L1 and L2. De Groot claims that some words (e.g., concrete words such as chair) might have the same conceptual representation in the two languages, others may overlap partially (e.g., abstract words such as winter in English and Russian), while for certain words the representations in the two languages might differ completely or may not exist altogether (as is the case with zero reference or lacunae). The above results have been explained in terms of distributed feature model of bilingual memory representation (Figure 6) in which concepts are represented as distributed features (De Groot, 1995; Kroll & De Groot, 1997; Van Hell, 1998). According to this model, concrete words are more likely than abstract words to share meaning across languages and cultures. Concrete words in different languages are proposed to access a shared set of semantic features because the perceptual objects to which they refer are typically similar. In contrast, abstract words in different languages are assumed to have only partial meaning overlap because differences in the linguistic and cultural contexts in which they are used will determine their meaning. Thus, when a bilingual translates an abstract word, only some of the semantic features activated for that language will overlap completely with the semantic features of the translation equivalent in the other language.

Figure 6 Distributed Feature Model of bilingual memory representation


Subgroup Model (Paradis 1984). Lexical representations of the languages form relatively independent groups in the individual lexicon of the learner capable of being accessed separately. In case the connection between L2 word and L1 word is stronger interlingual subgroups are formed; when connections between lexical units of the target language (L2) are strengthened intralingual subgroups are formed. Hierarchical Asymmetrical Models (Potter, So, von Eckhardt & Feldman, 1984; Kroll & Stewart, 1994; Kroll & Tokowicz). Hierarchical models of bilingual language representation integrate the Word Association and Concept Mediation models. They typically distinguish between two levels of processing: a conceptual level and a lexical level. At the conceptual level concepts are stored in one common conceptual store, regardless of the language of input. At the lexical level words of the two languages are represented in separate lexicons. These two lexical stores are connected to one another and to a common conceptual store. Researchers (Centowska, 2006; Kroll, 1993; De Groot & Comijs, 1995) generally agree that the selection of the processing route, whether access to meaning from L2 is direct or mediated through L1, depends on the direction of processing, forward or backward processing (from L1 to L2 or vice versa). Translation in the forward direction, from L1 into L2, requires concept mediation, in other words twostep processing: L1C, CL2. That is why it is typically slower and more error prone. Unlike this, translation in the backward direction, from L2 into L1, is lexically mediated and proceeds directly via word association, i.e. it's a one-step process: L2L1. The translation asymmetry is consistent with this account but can also be attributed to difficulties in accessing the phonology of the weaker L2. Kroll and Stewart (1994) proposed a Revised Hierarchical Model of bilingual representation, which attempts to accommodate the potential consequences of the developmental process to account for the change in the connections between words and concepts as L2 skill develops. Connections between lexical and conceptual representations of words are asymmetric. According to the model, the early dependence on L1 to mediate access to meaning for L2 words creates an asymmetry in the form of interlanguage connections. At the lexical level, connections from L2 to L1 are thought to be stronger than connections from L1 to L2. This asymmetry may arise in part from the reliance of L2 on L1, and also as a consequence of the differential nature of the mappings from a small lexicon, L2, to a large lexicon, L1. As L2 learners know many L1 words for which they do not have L2 translation equivalents, the lexical mappings from L1 to L2 would be insufficient and unreliable. At the conceptual level, the model postulates strong connections for L1 words, but relatively weaker connections for L2 words. RHM proposes that the L1 is more likely than L2 to initiate conceptual processing and thus L1 connections to concepts are stronger than those for L2. The more prominent is the link from L2 word form to its L1 translation equivalent than from L2 word to the concept due to the fact that new L2 words are often learned by associating them with their L1 translations (De Groot & Nas, 1991). However the latter become stronger with increasing proficiency so that the meaning of L2 words can be retrieved directly.

Figure 7 Words in each language (L1 and L2) are interconnected via lexical-level links and conceptual links. The lexical-level links are stronger from L2 to L1 (solid line) than from L1 to L2 (dashed line) but the conceptual links are stronger for L1 (solid line) than for L2 (dashed line).


The initial evidence for the revised hierarchical model came from translation asymmetry from L1 to L2 than translation from L2 to L1 (De Groot, Dannenburg, & Van Hell, 1994; Kroll & Stewart, 1994; Sanchez-Casas, Davis, & Garca-Albea, 1992; Sholl, Sankaranarayanan, & Kroll, 1995). In the experiment of out-of-context single word translation task with highly proficient DutchEnglish bilinguals by Kroll and Stewart (1994) the translation asymmetry observed suggests that the lexical-level connections established during early stages of acquisition do not disappear but may still continue to function under some circumstances once individuals become fluent bilinguals. In the presence of contextual support available in normal language use, this effect might be expected to disappear (La Heij, Kerling & Van der Velden, 1996). From the perspective of the RHM, the results of the Kroll, Dufour et al. (1998) study appear to converge on the conclusion that individuals at early stages of second language learning have difficulty in conceptually mediating L2. However, the question whether the difficulty that second language learners experience in concept mediation is attributable to difficulty in accessing concepts for L2 words or in using activated conceptual information to direct lexicalization to L2 remains disputable. Dufour and Kroll (1995) tested the RHM in the experiment of a semantic categorization task with more or less fluent bilinguals. Contrary to the hypothesis of th RHM, Dufour and Kroll reported that less fluent bilinguals appeared to be capable of retrieving conceptual information directly for L2 words. The results of the Altarriba and Mathis (1997) study suggest that even novice bilinguals are able to conceptually mediate L2. Additional evidence comes from a post hoc analysis reported by Talamas et al. (1999). The result supports the claim that early in L2 acquisition, conceptual mediation is not possible and that individuals must rely on a lexical strategy for recognizing L2 words. However, less fluent bilinguals were sensitive to semantic relations, but only when the word pairs had been rated as highly semantically similar. RHM was subject to strong criticism on the premise that it is overly generalized and does not take into account many variables: different types of mental representations of words, inhibitory control mechanisms etc. M. Brysbaert & W. Duyck suggest that first, there is little evidence for separate lexicons. Second, there is little evidence for language selective access. Third, the inclusion of excitatory connections between translation equivalents at the lexical level is likely to impede word recognition. Fourth, the connections between L2 words and their meanings are stronger than proposed in RHM. And finally, a distinction should be made between language-dependent and languageindependent semantic features. It is argued that the Revised Hierarchical Model cannot easily be adapted to incorporate these challenges and that a more fruitful way forward is to start from existing computational models of monolingual language processing and see how they can be adapted for bilingual input and output, as has been done in the Bilingual Interactive Activation model. Interactive Activation Models (IA-Models) Bilingual Interactive Activation Model (BIA-Model) (first described by Grainger & Dijkstra in 1992 and implemented by van Heuven, Dijkstra & Grainger in 1998). This is a generic connectionist model simulating bilingual visual word recognition performance under conditions in which the words to be recognized differ in their within and across-language orthographic properties (Van Heuven et al., 1998). Both lexical systems are stored together and lexical access is language non-selective: two languages are activated simultaneously and automatically even when the speech situation is restricted to one of them. Inhibitory control mechanisms limit cross-language interference. The BIA model distinguishes four hierarchically organized levels of linguistic representations: - letter features; - letters; - words; - language nodes (tags). This model assumes that there is parallel activation of letter features, letters, and words, similar to the input string which produces competition across alternative candidates. The BIA model makes 15

use of language nodes to control and suppress potential interference generated by non-target language representations. The language node mechanism in the BIA model is represented by top-down inhibitory control. After a complex interactive process of activation and inhibition the lexical candidate corresponding to the stimulus becomes the most active unit. The BIA model takes into account resting level activation, i.e. the subjective frequency (the number of times the learner encountered or used the word in an appropriate context) and the recency of use (if a word has not been used for a while its resting level activation progressively decreases). Context effects operate on the level of language nodes (L2 suppresses L1). There is strong evidence in favour of excitatory connections between translation equivalents in the early phases of L2 vocabulary acquisition and the evidence that such direct connection is no longer present in bilinguals with higher level of proficiency. The question that presents particular interest is how bilingual word recognition system evolves from the former state to the latter? This question could have pedagogical implications on the development of SLA theory. An updated version of the BIA model BIA+ implemented by Dijkstra & Van Heuven (2002) is a further extension and refinement of BIA model. It contains not only orthographic representations and language nodes but also phonological and semantic representations. These representations are part and parcel of word identification system. Non-linguistic context affects word recognition indirectly via task / decision system; it determines the way information from the identification system is used but not the activation state of word candidates. In contrast, linguistic context (sentence or preceding words) interacts directly with word recognition system, i.e. semantic and syntactic aspects of the sentence context can modulate the activation of lexical candidates and provide semantic constraints for recognition.

Figure 8 Developmental Bilingual Interactive Activation Model (BIA-d) is designed by Grainger et al. to demonstrate the changes in the learner's word identification system with increasing proficiency in the target language. It is based on the following principles: - both languages always remain active;


co-activated representations from irrelevant languages affect target language processing triggering cross-language transfer and interference effects; - top-down inhibitory control suppresses interference. The subject of this model is a relatively late L2 learner. Initial exposure to L2 generates in the mind of the learner direct connectivity between L2 words and its translation equivalents in L1 that are strengthened with increasing exposure. At the same time with the overall expansion of L2 vocabulary direct connections begin to emerge between L2 lexical representations and the appropriate pre-existing semantic representations (concepts). As the direct links between L2 words and semantics (conceptual representations) are further strengthened the connections between translation equivalents are becoming weaker up to the point of complete disappearance (Midgley et al. 2009) (the practical evidence for this theory is that sometimes translation from L2 to L1 presents significant difficulty for highly proficient learners whereas giving the definition in the target language is relatively effortless and a more preferable task). This is the critical threshold moment in the evolution of L2 proficiency. Some bilinguals define it as 'magic moment' in L2 acquisition when suddenly comprehension and production becomes significantly less effortful.

Figure 9 Grainger attributes this qualitative shift in bilingual word identification system to an improved cognitive control over L2 language activation that becomes necessary with the quantitative growth of vocabulary. This improved cognitive control corresponds to the development of the ability to globally inhibit L1 lexical representations while processing L2 stimuli and vice versa. Language nodes are responsible for cognitive control. Grainger points out that control mechanisms are obviously inconsistent with excitatory connections between translation equivalents in L1 and L2. The BIA-d model takes into account vocabulary acquisition, constraints associated with learning words in L2 once L1 is well-established. It is applicable to late L2 learning in the classroom setting. The model is initially designed for languages that have the same alphabet however as recent studies suggest it can be applied to languages that do not share the same script (Russian-English) as well. In this view, each word is linked via mutually excitatory connections to certain semantic features and to orthographically similar words that do not share the same semantics with the stimulus. According to BIA-d model, there are two distinctive overlapping phases of L2 vocabulary acquisition in late L2 learners that acquire the language essentially in the classroom environment: an initial phase of supervised learning which is progressively replaced by unsupervised learning. The shift towards L2 autonomy is reinforced by the development of top-down inhibitory control from the L2 language node. Recent evidence for the role of L1 inhibition during L2 acquisition has been provided by Levy, McVeigh, Marful & Anderson (2007) and Link, Kroll and Sunderman (2009). Link et al. suggest that immersion in an L2 environment is critical for the development of L1 inhibition and speeding up the process of establishing direct connections between L2 words and concepts. Thus, the following developmental changes occur in the word identification and in the mental lexicon of a learner: a. excitatory connections from L2 word forms to semantics gradually increase; 17

b. inhibitory connections from the L2 language node to L1 word forms gradually increase; c. excitatory connections between L2 word forms and their L1 translation equivalents gradually increase and then decrease as the inhibitory input from the L2 language node increases; d. inhibitory connections develop from the L2 word form to other orthographically (or phonetically if the languages do not share script) similar words in L2 and L1. This model perfectly depicts the process of gradual integration and internalization of L2 words (with within and cross-language connectivity) into bilingual mental lexicon. The indisputable advantage of BIA-d model of bilingual language processing is that it takes into account all variables of L2 visual word recognition process: semantics (conceptual system); language nodes, interlingual and intralingual interference effects; dynamic process of language acquisition (in contrast with other static models); applicability to different languages. The Inhibitory Control Model (IC Model) (Green, 1998). This model focuses on the importance of task demands and the cognitive control (restriction) that language users can exert on the language processing and word recognition by modifying levels of activation. However, the empirical results on word recognition and language production support the notion that the activity of each language is not determined by task demands alone; both languages appear to be active even when the task requires attention to one language alone. Green (1998) proposed a framework for characterizing the problem that the bilingual faces when selectively attending to only one of his or her two languages. How does a bilingual prevent him or herself from blurting out utterances in the wrong language? The focus of the inhibitory control model is not on the nature of lexical and/or semantic representations per se, but rather on the regulatory processes that permit a bilingual to perform a given task in one language rather than the other. Evidence for the role of an inhibitory control mechanism comes from experiments on language switching (e.g. Meuter & Allport, 1999; Von Studnitz & Green, 1997). When bilinguals are required to switch from one language to the other in production tasks, greater costs, in the form of increased response latencies, are observed when switching into the more dominant L1 than into the weaker L2 (Meuter & Allport, 1999). Because L1 is likely to be active during the processing of L2, it will be necessary to inhibit L1 to achieve L2 performance goals. If the subsequent trial requires that L1 itself be processed, there will then be costs that correspond to the degree of inhibition required on the prior trial. In contrast, when L2 follows L1, the relative inhibitory costs will be smaller because L2, as a consequence of its relatively lower level of activity, will not have to be inhibited to the same degree, or at all, during L1 processing. The cornerstone of this model is the language task schema that specifies the mental processing steps (or action sequences) that a language user takes to perform a particular language task. A language task schema regulates the output from the word identification system by altering the activation levels of representations (lemmas) and inhibiting output within the system (e.g.: in translation tasks the language user has to switch from the input language of the stimulus to the output language) (Green, 1998). The task schema suppresses lemmas by means of the language nodes (tags) at the stage of lexical selection after lexical candidates have been activated. Green (1998) proposed a related explanation for the translation asymmetry described by Kroll and Stewart (1994). He argued that the asymmetry results as a consequence of differential inhibitory processes that are required to perform the two translation tasks. Forward translation, from L1 to L2, is hypothesized to require significant suppression of L1 because the more active L1 lemmas will compete for output with L2. Backward translation, from L2 to L1, will not require comparable suppression of L2 because L2 is hypothesized to be less active, and therefore will not generate as much competition for output. Like Grosjeans (1997, 1998) claims about language mode, Greens (1998) proposal for inhibitory control assigns at least some responsibility to mechanisms other than the mental representations themselves in explaining why performance differs from one bilingual task to the next as well as from one bilingual individual to another. By this account, what should develop with 18

increasing fluency is not simply enriched mental representations of L2, but also the skill to allocate memory and attentional resources appropriately to achieve the desired language goals. The observation of parallel activity across the two languages during visual word recognition does not necessarily suggest that similar cross-language activation occurs during auditory processing of the speech signal. Since languages differ in their component sounds it can be argued that within the speech signal there are language-specific cues that are not as readily available within printed text. The advantage of the IC model is hat it emphasizes that bilingual language processing always occurs within a particular task context and with certain goals in mind. The idea of top-down inhibition of lexical representations (lemmas) was proposed by Levelt.

Cross-Language Approach
Many studies have demonstrated that visual word recognition in L2 is affected by the reader's L1 (e.g., Wang, Koda, & Perfetti, 2003). The subsequent question to be addressed is to what extent does native language or any other language known to the learner influence word processing and word recognition in L2? What's the degree of facilitation and interference? Sharwood Smith and Kellerman (1986) suggested the term "crosslinguistic influence" to define the processes known as cross-language transfer and interference. Odlin (1989) offers his working definition of transfer as the influence resulting from the similarities and differences between the target language and any other language that has been previously acquired. Transfer from L1 to L2 is positive for interlingual cognate and is negative (interference) for interlingual homophones. There are many areas of cross-language interference effects: phonology (accents), orthography (esp. English-French literature littrature), vocabulary (magazine-magasin), semantic, grammatical (morphological and syntactic), conceptual, stylistic (register), pragmatic. Zalevskaya states that the possibility of relying on L1 in vocabulary processing and word recognition lies in the convergence of semantic structure of the word equivalents in two languages. The prerequisite is that lexical valency and combinability of words coincide in both languages. Thus by means of inner disguised translation interlingual analogy is established which leads to crosslanguage recognition strategy (Weinreich). The basis of interlingual word recognition is similarity in form, distribution, meaning or all of the above. Cross-language identifications exist at any stage of second language acquisition and at any level of proficiency. Cross-language identification manifests itself primarily in the recognition of interlingual homographs and cognates. The instance of interlingual interference is defined in world psycholinguistics as bidirectional cross-linguistic interaction between L1 and L2 in bilingual learners presupposing that L1 influences L2 and vice versa. Difficulty of keeping foreign languages apart was noted by Schmidt and Frota (1986). Bidirectional Modal of Bilingualism ventures a suggestion that with increasing proficiency in L2 it becomes more dominant and starts to influence L1 comprehension and production. So the interference pattern acquires a reversed character. The experiment of Kroll, Michael, Elsinger, Tokowicz, & Miller (1997) aimed at ascertaining individual differences of L2 acquisition showed that during early stages of L2 acquisition, there are costs to processing L1, at least when the task environment also requires the use of L2. For the less fluent individuals the activity of L2 may intrude into L1 performance, whereas for fluent bilinguals, there may be greater autonomy associated with each language. The assessment that L2 learners have approached or achieved near-native or native-like competence means that there is little or no perceptible difference between their language performance and that of native speakers. Because ones L2 system is never exactly the same as the native speakers (even if we cannot readily perceive differences), most of us would not consider the final state of L2 development to be completely native. The most likely level of linguistic production to retain some identifiably foreign feature is pronunciation, especially if L2 learning began after the age of twelve or so.


Previous research has examined both the interactions that occur as a new language is being acquired as well as the interactions that take place during online language comprehension and production processes. In terms of the interactions that take place during acquisition, research has demonstrated that linguistic characteristics of the native language (L1), such as how phonologically or syntactically similar it is to the second language (L2) has an effect on its acquisition (e.g., Bosch, Costa, & Sebastian-Galles, 2000; Fernndez, 1998; MacWhinney, 1997). Word recognition appears to activate lexical candidates in both languages (e.g., Colom, 2001; Costa, Miozzo, & Caramazza, 1999; Hermans, Bongaerts, De Bot, & Schreuder, 1998). The example of that is code-switching in bilinguals or multilinguals. In cross-language competition the activation of the alternative in another language doesn't appear to be under the bilingual's control. According to Dijkstra, De Bruijn, Shriefers and Ten Brinke (2000) these effects are immune to the effects of instruction, specific task demands etc. To negotiate the potential competition across the two languages bilinguals must develop cognitive inhibitory control mechanisms (e.g., Bialystok, Craik, Klein, & Viswanathan, 2004; Green, 1998). According to the principle of language non-selective access implemented in the BIA model (Grainger & Dijkstra, 1992) cross-language interference should be observable even in the most monolingual processing situation (e.g.: reading a book written in L2) (Grosjean). Experimantal evidence for cross-language interference and language non-selectivity was provided by Dyer (1973), Guttentag, Haith, Goodman & Hauch (1984). Evidence for co-activation of non-target languages representations during the processing of interlingual homographs (Beauvillain & Grainger 1987; De Groot, Delmaar & Lupker 2000; Dijkstra, Grainger & van Heuven 1999; Dijkstra, Timmermans & Shriefers 2000) and interlingual homophones (Brysbaert, Van Dyck & Van de Poel 1999; Duyck 2005; Nas 1983; Dijkstra et al. 1999). The experimental findings generally supported the premise that bilinguals are unable to block interference from the irrelevant languages. The RHM and the earlier Concept Mediation model share an implicit assumption that once individuals achieve sufficient expertise in the L2, the L2 can function automously of the L1 (but see Kroll & De Groot, 1997, for a distributed model at both the lexical and conceptual levels). This assumption has been challenged in the recent literature in which cross-language activity has been observed for even highly proficient bilinguals. While no one would dispute the fact that bilinguals gain automaticity in processing the L2 with increasing skill (e.g., Segalowitz & Hulstijn, 2005), recent studies suggest that proficiency does not imply an ability to use each of the languages automonously, as if the bilingual were functionally monolingual. However, a recent study (Sunderman & Kroll) demonstrated that at the lexical level, it is the activity of the translation equivalent that changes with increasing proficiency, but not the activity of lexical form relatives. When bilinguals read or hear words in one language, there is activation of related information in other language(s). However, what is active for proficient bilinguals is the orthographic and phonological information present in words in the two languages, not the translation equivalent itself. These words are semantically unrelated but share similar lexical form. Sunderman and Kroll showed this type of cross-language activity occurred regardless of L2 proficiency. The account provided by the RHM with respect to lexical mediation thus appears to characterize the performance of learners who still depend on the L1 to access meaning and more proficient bilinguals who may resort to this strategy when the words to be translated are relatively low frequency in the L2 (Kroll and Stewart, 1994). There is also evidence for cross-language interactions that occur during the online comprehension of language, when recognizing words bilinguals activate lexical and sub-lexical units from both of their languages in parallel (e.g., Dijkstra et al., 1999; Dijkstra et al., 2000a; Jared & Kroll, 2001; Ju & Luce, 2004; Marian & Spivey, 2003; Van Heuven et al., 1998). The studies reviewed above all focused on cross-language activation that occurs during the recognition of visually presented words. In these studies, effects of cross-language activation may have been particularly robust since the visual input (i.e., a string of letters) can be completely language neutral. Furthermore, there is evidence that even when the languages do not share the same script (e.g.,


Hebrew and English or Chinese and English), cross-language priming effects can be observed (e.g., Gollan, Forster, & Frost, 1997; Jiang, 1999). There have been a few studies that have examined cross-language interaction during auditory speech processing. Spivey and Marian (1999) asked RussianEnglish bilinguals to look at an array of objects as they listened to instructions in either their L1 or L2 which indicated an object that they should select (e.g., pick up the marker). Instructions indicated a target object whose phonological onset was the same as that of another object in the non-target language (e.g., "" (marka) is the Russian equivalent for stamp). To test whether the non-target lexical representation of the object was activated, the authors monitored the bilinguals eye-movements as they surveyed the array of objects and listened to the instructions. When the instructions indicated an object whose phonological onset was shared across languages, participants initially looked toward the object that shared this onset in the non-target language. This indicated that upon hearing the initial, shared phoneme, the bilinguals activated lexical candidates from both of their languages (Marian & Spivey, 2003). Cross-language Competition There is ample evidence that the two lexicons of a bilingual are not functionally independent. For example, word recognition in a given target language has been shown to be influenced by semantic and/or form overlap with words of the non target language (e.g., Christoffanini, Kirsner, & Milech, 1986; de Groot, Borgwaldt, Bos, & van den Eijnden, 2002; Dijkstra, Miwa, Brummelhuis, Sappelli, and Baayen, 2010; Haigh & Jared, 2007; Lemhfer & Dijkstra, 2004), and it can be primed by, for example, form-overlapping words from the other language (Brysbaert, Van Dyck & Van de Poel, 1999; Dijkstra, Hilberink-Schulpen, & van Heuven, 2010; Kim & Davis, 2003). It is thus likely that lexical activation usually spreads across words from both languages. Due to this language-independent lexical activation, it could be argued that bilinguals need to cope with more competition between similar word form representations than monolinguals. Competition between resembling word form representations (orthographic/phonological neighbors) is a central component of computational models based on interactive activation (e.g., Coltheart et al., 2001; Grainger & Jacobs, 1996; McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981; Perry, Ziegler & Zorzi, 2007). When participants are processing the word bale, the correct representation must be discriminated from neighbors that also become activated, such as sale and bake; furthermore, L2 speakers need to additionally discriminate it from possible neighbors from their first language.This phenomenon can be defined as Cross-language neighbourhood effect. Van Heuven et al. (1988) manipulated potential cross-language interference in the form of words from non-target language that are orthographically similar to target words (orthographic neighbors). The neighborhood effect across languages triggered cross-linguistic interference that suggested that processing of a given isolated word (in the list of words of one language only) generates activation in orthographically similar words not only within the target language but also in the irrelevant languages. This argument seems to be sufficient enough to demonstrate the language non-selective access mechanism. Van Heuven, Dijkstra, and Grainger (1998) reported cross-language neighborhood effects in lexical decision for Dutch-English bilinguals. The time to make a lexical decision in one language was affected by the presence of words in both languages that possessed similar orthography to the target word. The cross-language neighborhood effect is elusive. Lemhfer et al. (2008) did not replicate the findings of the previous studies (Groot et al., 2002) and demonstrated that there was no significant effect of L1 orthographic neighborhood size on L2 performance in bilinguals. The language-competition hypothesis makes two interesting predictions. First, the exact degree to which the frequency effect increases should be contingent on how many languages an individual knows (i.e., how many cross-language competitors are activated) and how well they know each of these languages (i.e., language proficiency). With respect to proficiency, the more skilled a bilingual is in one language relative to the other(s), the higher words from this language should be in subjective frequency, and therefore the less 21

susceptible the processing of this language should be to interference from competitors in a non-target language. The fact that language competition effects (e.g., cognate effects, homograph effects, etc.) are usually larger and more reliable in the processing of a non-dominant (i.e., more susceptible) language is also consistent with this conjecture (e.g., Caramazza & Brones, 1979; de Groot, et al., 2002). If L1 is always explicitly present and highly active for the second language learner or less fluent bilingual, then it will produce a variety of processing consequences that will appear as facilitation, when activated information in L1 helps to retrieve the corresponding information in L2, or as interference, when the information in L1 does not resemble the desired output in L2. This experimental setting very well corresponds to formal classroom language acquisition which is also the context of my research experiment. Cross-language competition effects are resolved by cognitive inhibitory control of L1. The question of its development in bilinguals comes to the forefront of our discussion. How do second language learners solve these control issues to become fluent bilinguals? The results of experiments which focus on the performance of highly fluent bilinguals suggest that fluency alone does not decrease the degree of cross-language activation. Indeed, increased knowledge of L2 may result in an increase in the level of cross-language competition. Rather, high levels of fluency may be associated with skillful negotiation and resolution of competition. The activation associated with multiple mappings from words to concepts may be resolved if L1 can be inhibited. What is unclear is how to characterize the cues that the L2 learner may use to accomplish inhibition of L1. Particularly when L2 is learned in a classroom context, the cues associated with L1 in the larger environment may be difficult to ignore. In immersion settings, the environment itself may provide cues that are uniquely associated with L2 and thereby reduce the relative advantage of L1. These cues may be overt and perceptual, for example, in the manner in which objects and events are culturally specified. But they may also be more subtle, covert and conceptual, in the sense that nuances of meaning (semantic features constituting meaning) differ in different cultural contexts. For the classroom learner, despite the best efforts of language instructors, these cues may not be sufficiently salient to facilitate the acquisition of cognitive control. The L2 classroom learner is thus faced with the task of increasing the mappings of words to meaning, a goal which in some sense runs counter to the entire grain of the language processing system in that new words are simply attached to old concepts. In this case, the ability of the learner to generate internal cognitive strategies and cues for processing the new L2 may be especially critical for word recognition and word comprehension. The study by Kroll, Michael, & Sankaranarayanan, 1998 on American-Dutch vocabulary proved that semantic categorization had little effect on word acquisition and recognition (words were categorized semantically). Cognitive strategy of associating new words to their translation equivalents in the native language also proved inefficient. However associations to non-canonical pictures depicting objects in the reversed position had the most effect on memorizing L2 words. It was hypothesized that the unusual orientation might slow down the retrieval of L1 word associated with the picture and therefore facilitate acquisition of the new word. This finding suggests that even surfacelevel cues in the environment may function to stimulate the L2 usage and briefly suppress access to L1. Language learners restricted to classroom acquisition of L2 as opposed to individuals who had experienced language immersion, in the absence of unique cues associated with L2, are left to their own devices to engage the second language and to suppress the first language when appropriate. Individuals with high cognitive capacity may be able to develop effective cognitive strategies to immerse themselves in L2 in the absence of external cues. The ability to suppress irrelevant information and memory span and /or computational capacity appear to affect the efficiency of L2 vocabulary acquisition. Kroll, Michael, Elsinger, Tokowicz, & Miller (1997) carried out an experiment to assess individual differences in more or less fluent bilinguals and their effect on word recognition. These results provide support for the hypothesis that second language learners with higher memory span may allocate their mental resources to generate strategies that increase conceptual processing, even when it produces a cost to processing when translation could be accomplished on a more superficial basis. 22

The term "interlanguage" was coined by Larry Selinker (1972) in recognition of the fact that L2 learners construct a unique approximate transitional linguistic system that is dependent on the learner's native language (L1) but is different from it as well as from the target language. Interlanguage consists of a system of abstract linguistic rules called "mental grammar" which is open to outside input at any one stage of development (Chomsky). Interlanguage is prone to fossilization. Selinker pointed out that only 5 % of learners go on to develop the same or near-native language system. In most cases it remains an interlanguage variety. The concept of interlanguage is a prominent part of SLA theory as it provides a fair account of how L2 is acquired. It incorporates elements from mentalist theories such as Chomsky's Universal Grammar (UG) and Language Acquisition Device (LAD) and elements from cognitive psychology (e.g.: learning strategies). A number of recent studies have suggested that interlanguage connections are affected not only by the proficiency of the bilingual speaker but also by the nature of the words and concepts that are translated (e.g., Francis, Tokowicz, & Kroll, 2003). When a small set of lexical items is well learned or highly practiced, even relative novices may appear to conceptually process words in the L2 (e.g., Altarriba & Mathis, 1997). However, it is generally believed that the development of L2 proficiency appears to shift from reliance on lexical cross-language connections to reliance on conceptual interconnections with increasing skill (e.g., Kroll, Michael, Tokowicz, & Dufour, 2002; Talamas, Kroll, & Dufour, 1999). Although there is controversy with respect to the issue of whether highly proficient bilinguals ever revert to lexical mediation during translation (e.g., Duyck & Brysbaert, 2004; La Heij, Hooglander, Kerling, & Van der Velden, 1996), the evidence from L2 learners suggests that there is an early stage of acquisition in which L1 translations are highly active (Sunderman & Kroll).

Typological (Etymological) Approach

Bilingual word recognition is contingent on the interrelation of languages that the bilingual has sufficient command of. Genetic, typological, and historical relationships of L1 and L2 yield differential possibilities for word recognition and positive transfer of parameter settings and surfacelevel features, including vocabulary and writing system. Since the language non-selective access hypothesis proved to be consistent it is important to take into account the degree of convergence and divergence between L1 and L2. English and Russian are typologically unrelated languages. They do not share the same script and have small level of lexical similarity. However this should be of little consequence if we fall back on Chomsky's Universal Grammar. English and French, on the other hand, share the script and lexically very similar. Naturally we can assume that French-English bilinguals would have less difficulty recognizing L2 words that Russian-English or Chinese-English. However due to a large number of lexical borrowings and loans a large proportion of words have Latin roots that are easily recognizable across languages (e.g.: victoire (fr.) victory (eng.) - vittoria (it.) victoria (sp.) (rus.) There is also sufficient facilitation for recognizing cognates even when the cognates are nonidentical (Van Hell & Dijkstra, 2002). Across all conditions there was a benefit for translating cognates than non-cognates (e.g. de Groot et al., 1994; Kroll).

Cross-Cultural Approach
This section observes word recognition process in the context of Russian-English classroom bilingualism from ethno-psycholinguistic perspective and in the framework of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory. The case in point is cross-cultural interactions between L1 and L2. Word recognition process is culture-specific. According to linguistic relativity Sapir-Whorf hypothesis thought (cognitive processes) of a language user is affected by the language system. Each language embodies a worldview so that speakers of different languages conceptualize the world 23

differently. In other words language is an extension of extra-linguistic reality and ethnic culture. Modifying the classic theory of linguistic relativity Hymes proposed that cognition and culture, and culture and language, are inextricable, interdependent and interconnested (1975). Cultural relativism is the thesis that a person's culture strongly influences her modes of perception and thought. Quoting the anthropologist Ruth Benedict, "no man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes. He sees it edited by a definite set of customs and institutions and ways of thinking. Even in his philosophical probings he cannot go behind these stereotypes The life-history of the individual is first and foremost an accommodation to the patterns and standards traditionally handed down in his community. From the moment of his birth the customs into which he is born shape his experience and behaviour. By the time he can talk, he is the little creature of his culture. Based on the psychological theory of activity of A.N. Leontiev, eminent Russian ethnopsycholinguists of Moscow Psycholinguistic School Ufimtseva and Tarasov developed the theory of language (verbal) consciousness which provides the description, analysis and interpretation of speech production and comprehension processes that occur in intercultural communication. The theory allows for in-depth understanding of an impact of the cultural environment and native language on foreign (second) language acquisition. The term language consciousness was coined by Ufimtseva to denote consciousness externalized by means of language. Tarasov pointed out that language consciousness is a language-mediated worldview of representatives of a certain culture. This conception is a reversed initial Whorfian theory (the structure of a language affects the ways in which its speakers conceptualize their world, i.e. their world view). Culture-specific and culture-related world view or mentality of a speaker which encompasses cultural and social stereotypes and archetypes of thinking influences the language of an individual. Later a term ethno-linguistic consciousness was introduced by Privalova to describe a specific culture-conditioned configuration of language consciousness. Ethno-linguistic consciousness encapsulates specific features of national culture and mentality with dominant values, social and cultural stereotypes and archetypes. Acquiring a foreign language a learner acquires foreign culture by assimilating the cultural traits of another group and internalizes it by integrating it into his cognitive and conceptual frameworks. This leads to the emergence of what has been referred to as a Second language personality. In the process of second language and second culture acquisition a learner develops a bilingual language consciousness, a hybrid entity, as a combination of the consciousness developed during the first/primary culture acquisition and acculturation of L2's native consciousness (Ufimtseva). A bilingual who acquires language in the context of formal classroom instruction becomes acculturated in artificial conditions and therefore by virtue of this fact will never completely internalize foreign culture. A bilingual learner also acquires a binary communicative system which is otherwise known as interlanguage (Selinker) which has culture specific elements of both languages. The formation of the foreign language- and culture-based consciousness, as well as the analysis of the use of the first and the second language by a bilingual person are in focus of our discussion. The major problem of "the bilingual consciousness" is simultaneous functioning of at least two linguistic cognitive configurations. This premise begs the question: to what extent does a foreign language learner acquire a foreign culture (becomes acculturated)? Popkova and Chernichkina claim that in classroom setting with limited language and cultural exposure a learner's language consciousness can never attain that of a native speaker (2002). L2 word has a conceptual meaning of its equivalent in L1 and hardly ever acquires specific conceptual nuances associated with this word in L2 culture. Our primary objective within the framework of our research was to determine in what way and to what extent L1 culture is reflected in L2 word recognition process in Russian-English bilinguals. In other words find out how national stereotypes and language mentality are ingrained into words and to what extent they influence L2 word recognition and comprehension. Frumkina claims that L2 word recognition undergoes the influence of ethnocentrism, unconscious habit of a learner to view foreign cultures and concepts through and within the learner's native ethnic culture and conceptual system. Recognizing an L2 word a learner establishes cross24

language and cross-cultural identifications which trigger cross-language interaction effects (positive transfer and negative interference). Interlingual homographs or false friends are most susceptible to interference. The extent of L1 influence on L2 word acquisition and recognition can diminish with increasing proficiency in L2 and with development of cognitive control but never quite disappears. Richard Nisbett claims that Asians and Westerners conceptualize world differently. This conjecture was largely supported by Russian ethno-psycholinguists Ufimtseva who studied culturespecific concepts and cultural phenomena and their manifestation in language by comparing data from Associative Thesauri. According to Sternin & Bikova concepts in the mind of an individual are not directly connected with words. They merely reflect extra-linguistic reality and socio-cultural environment. The following example is illustrative of intercultural interactions in word recognition process. Certain words in the English language are difficult to recognize and understand by Russian native speakers mainly because the concepts that they denote do not exist in Russian culture. E.g.; window-shopping, car-pooling, fortnight. This can sometimes lead to misinterpretation in case a learner is not familiar with the specific linguo-cultural concept: e.g. to window-shop to shop for windows. This phenomenon is known as identification uncertainty or cross-cultural lacuna (gap) or zero reference. Language learners gradually develop sociolinguistic competence or cross-cultural competence familiarizing themselves with culture-specific concepts absent in their native language and fill in the blank spots. Despite the fact that different cultures conceptualize the world differently, the majority of concepts is shared across languages and cultures because people tend to think in the same categories. Chomsky's Universal Grammar is a wonderful example of that. The present research discusses the conceptual knowledge associated with a word in the languages. This approach allows for the knowledge associated with equivalent words in L1 and L2 to be compared. Such comparative data shows both the areas of common knowledge (the universal concept system the source of understanding) and the culture-specific knowledge areas (the source of misunderstanding) in the language consciousness of participants. Figure 10 illustrates the main theoretical findings of this section. Ethno-linguisitc consciousness (culture specific image of the world) Cross-Language Consciousness Cross-Language and Cross-Culture Identification

Ethnocentrism if Identification

Interlanguage (L2 Learners)

Cross-Language Interactions (Transfer and Interference)

Strategic approach. Visual word recognition strategies.

In the course of L2 acquisition language learner develops communicative competence which also includes strategic competence as an ability to employ various strategies to solve communicative tasks (Haastrup). Based on the definition of communicative strategies the strategic competence can be described as the awareness of and the control over communication variables. Chomsky's concept of linguistic competence gave rise to the development of the idea of communicative competence (Gumpez & Hymes, 1972). Depending on the ultimate task all strategies are subdivided into several categories: communicative strategies, metacognitive strategies, cognitive strategies, heuristic 25

strategies, reading strategies, vocabulary learning strategies (e.g.: key-word method, word maps etc.), vocabulary teaching strategies (e.g.: Frayer Model), mnemonics strategies, semantic strategies. Communicative strategies include language learning strategies, communication strategies, intercultural strategies, pragmatic strategies, compensatory strategies (Faerch & Kasper, 1983). O'Malley & Chamot proposed four groups of strategies: metacognitive, cognitive, social, affective. Metacognitive strategies encompass anticipation (prediction), planification, direct attention, selfmanagement, self-monitoring, identification of the problem (problem-solving strategy), autoevaluation (verification), clarification, management of emotions. Cognitive strategies include codeswitching, analogy, lexical inferencing strategy, background knowledge strategy; social strategies are represented by co-operation and avoidance and affective strategies are represented by positive or negative emotional charge. Reading strategies were developed for teaching reading in L1 (M.J. Clark); they comprise: - Sight words identification strategy (words that readers recognize instantly without any cognitive effort. The more proficient the reader is the more words s/he recognizes by sight); - Phonics (the use of orthography-phonology correlation strategy); - Word Patterns (the use of familiar letter sequences to recognize parts of words); - context (the use of surrounding words to infer the meaning of an unknown word); - Word Parts (the use of morphological analysis to deduce the meaning). The concept of metacognition was devised by Flavell (1979). He defined metacognitive knowledge as the ability to control a task's difficulty and to adapt to its demands. In order to solve a problem one has to be aware of a range of available strategies and tactics. According to Goldstein & Levin strategic competence is required when a goal cannot be reached through automatic processes alone. Word recognition strategies have been studies by cognitive psychology and neurolinguistics using various experimental methods and computational techniques (LTD Lexical Decision Task, naming task, priming test, eye-tracking) on different lexical material (pseudohomophones, neologisms, non-words in isolation and in semantic context). In these experiments native speakers of language were tested (Seidenberg, Taft, Russel, Frost et al.). The main objective of these experiments was to infer implicit cognitive strategies and explicate them. Stone & Van Orden (1993) conducted an LTD experiment and found that participants resorted to several cognitive mechanisms to recognize a stimulus: semantics, assembled phonology, phonological lexicon, morphemic decomposition. However we are more interested in semantic recognition strategies as they bear resemblance to natural language processing. Studies on word recognition demonstrated that it is a strategic process which incorporates multiple sources if information represented in the word form or associated with it. In most conceptualizations, the strategies operate simultaneously and interdependently. Formal motivational strategies rely on word form cues: phonological, orthographic, morphological). Semantic strategies involve activation of a relevant fragment of inner semantic context (perceptual-cognitive-affective) which encompasses various emotional, evaluative impressions connected with the word. These strategies reflect basic mechanisms of cognitive processing: bottom-up and top-down parsing. Formal strategies are characteristic of unknown or unfamiliar words. Elements of word form (phonemes, graphemes and morphemes) serve as key elements at this level of word recognition.

Phonological Strategy
It is generally assumed that the meaning of a word can be retrieved via phonological representation. There is experimental evidence for phonological decoding on a pre-lexical stage of identification. Reader makes a hypothesis about a sound form of a verb witch is matched to the corresponding perceptual pattern in his memory and a phonological representation is retrieved.


Brysbaert, Van Dyck, and Van de Poel (1999) found that visual word recognition heavily depends on the phonology represented by the written stimulus. In addition, it has been shown that the phonological decoding of the visual stimulus happens prelexically (i.e., before the word form representation in the lexicon is activated) and automatically (see, e.g., Frost, 1998). Brysbaert et al. (1999) hypothesised that the automatic and prelexical activation of phonological information must have implications for bilingual visual word recognition. Researchers found that access to a phonological representation is a mandatory inherent stage of word recognition regardless of the sensory modality of the input (auditory and visual recognition). This premise is consistent with the natural process of word acquisition in ontogenesis: sound form of a word is acquired before its orthography. In order to recognize a word individuals sound it out in inner speech. Phonological representations of words are store on the surface tier of mental lexicon. Researchers in cognitive psychology claim that words are stored in the mental lexicon in their sound form while orthographic representations are stored separately and are harder to access; shortterm memory operates on the phonological level of processing. Emmory & Fromkin and Levelt found that during word recognition phonological and orthographic representations are activated simultaneously irrespective of the modality of perception (Emmory & Fromkin, 1988). Evidence from neuropsychology and psychophysiology confirms that processing of the input signal involves multiple decoding and re-decoding on all levels of sensory system (auditory, visual) and subsequent modifications of previously made hypotheses regarding phonological and orthographic form of the word (Solso, 1996). Alternative theories postulate that in a short-term memory information is coded acoustically. Cognitive psychology presents evidence for the fact that on-line processing operates on the basis if auditory codes even if the information is coded visually. It is admitted, however, that during recognition identification system incorporates auditory and visual codes. In the mental lexicon phonological and orthographic representations are stored separately (Butterworth, 1983). Perfetti found that phonological representation is retrieved automatically in 60 msec. after the visual presentation of the input. On the other hand this representation may not necessarily be employed in word recognition process as activation of phonological representation does not presuppose lexical access and retrieval of semantic information. Numerous phonologically mediated priming experiments demonstrate that only semantically relevant associations exerted influence on the speed of word recognition (e.g.: beech (homophone for beach) contributed to a faster recognition of the stimulus sand as opposed to the control word bench) (Lesch & Pollatsek, 1993). The compelling evidence for these claims comes from the masked priming test. Perfetti and Bell (1991) semonstrated that a briefly presented target word like FLOOR is recognized much quicker when it is preceded by the masked homophonic non-word prime flore than when it is preceded by the graphemic control prime floop, even when the primes are presented so briefly that the participants cannot perceive them consciously. The fact that this phonological priming effect is observed with non-word primes indicates that the phonology is activated on the basis of direct letter-sound correspondences. From the point of view of perceptual processing during word recognition rare infrequent vowel and consonant sequences become key elements to constructing phonological representation and accessing the meaning (Shtern). The complexity and position of vowels and consonant clusters significantly affects word recognition (Frederiksen &Kroll, 1976). The whole-word shape (e.g.: wordpoityness effect) influences the speed of processing the input on a pre-lexical level. Readers often access phonology even when they are reading silently to themselves, this process is called phonics or sounding out words and it is said to be a characteristic of incompetent readers who need to read out loud in order to comprehend the meaning of words. In the literature on word recognition based on English, there are three sources of support for a phonological recognition strategy, although all are subject to frequent criticism: (1) effects of orthographic structure; (2) adherence to grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules; (3) effects of homophony. The nature of a strategy that exploits a phonographic principle implies the importance of orthographic structure to the processes of word recognition (Frederiksen &Kroll, 1976; Forster & 27

Chambers, 1973). In a lexical decision task time to decide whether a letter string is a word is generally shorter for those regular words that comply with grapheme-phoneme corrrespondence rules (Venezky, 1970) than for words that are exceptions to those rules (Baron & Strawson, 1976; Edgmon, cited by Gough & Cotsky, 1977; Stanovich & Bauer, 1978; Barron, 1978). Early support for a phonological strategy was derived from the detriment to performance on lexical decision with word homophone letter strings such as weak/week and pseudoword homophone strings such as burd and blud (Rubenstein, LeWis, & Rubenstein, 1971). From a developmental perspective, good beginning readers were slower with pseudoword homophones than with control items, while poor readers performed equally with both types of letter strings (Barron, 1978). While poor readers may never employ a phonological analysis, skilled readers can use a phonological recognition strategy, although it is optional and may be suppressed when necessary. With skilled readers, a detriment to performance does occur for the lower frequency homophone word (e.g., altar, beech) when the accompanying pseudowords are not homophones of real words (e.g., slint). If the pseudowords are homophones of real words, however (e.g., brane, brume), then subjects can suppress a phonological stategy (Davelaar, Coltheart, Besner, & Jonasson, 1978; McQuade, 1981). The effect of homophony, like the influence of phonological consistency in orthographic neighborhood, is often treated as a post-lexical condition, resulting from a mismatch between a letter string and one (or several) lexical entries (Bauer & Stanovich, 1980). This account assumes an interference due to the inconsistent phonological descriptions provided by different lexical entries. For words in English, Coltheart et a1. (1979) have claimed that the phonological strategies are always optional, but orthographic strategy is sometimes mandatory.

Orthographic Strategy
Each word in the mental lexicon is supposed to have an orthographic representation. Lexical representation can be retrieved by matching the orthographic form of the input with its phonological representation. This process is purely visual. Orthographic strategy for word recognition is supported by Morton's Logogen Model which does not allow for the contact between auditory and visual channel of information processing. Following the premise of this model if a word does not have a welldeveloped orthographic representation in the mental lexion it can not be recognized. Recognition can depend on orthographic system of language. English orthographic system is highly irregular and inconsistent. Many English words are irregularly pronounced, and non-alphabetic. It provides only partial cues to their pronunciation. English orthographic system is deep. In shallow (transparent) orthographies, the grapheme-to-phoneme correspondence is direct and the spelling of words is very consistent. In a shallow orthography lexical word recognition is mediated primarily by phonemic information generated outside the lexicon by grapheme-to-phoneme translation. In contrast, in a deep orthography, lexical access for word recognition relies strongly on orthographic cues, while phonology is derived from the internal lexicon. Russian is an alphabetic language with shallow or transparent orthography (direct correspondence between graphemes and phonemes) which leads to a greater reliance on phonological decoding during lexical access (Frost et al., 1987; Katz & Frost, 1992). Non-native English learners with transparent native orthography demonstrate greater influence of phonological decoding of written words during lexical access (Koda, 1989). Native orthography has been shown to influence phonological decoding strategies in foreign language reading (Koda, 1989).
Orhtographic Neighbourhood Frequency Effect Words without neighbors are recognized faster than those with a few neighbors.


Such a within-language effect was predicted on the basis of the interactive activation model (McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981), which sees word identification as the result of competition between orthographically similar words.

Grapheme-to-phoneme conversion strategy

A long-standing issue for reading researchers and educators is whether words are recognized on a visual basis or by first computing a phonological representation. Using visual information might seem to be more efficient because it involves a direct mapping from spelling to meaning; using phonology (translating from orthography to phonology to meaning) involves an extra step. However, a compelling body of research suggests that skilled readers compute phonological information as part of the recognition process (e.g., Van Orden 1987). Studies of learning to read have also highlighted the important role of phonological information (Wagner and Torgesen 1987). There is also strong evidence that learning to read an orthography has a reciprocal impact on phonological representation (Morais et al. 1986). Different languages based on the same alphabet often use the same letter combinations to represent different sounds. For instance, the grapheme ou represents the /u/ phoneme in French but the /Au/ phoneme in Dutch. Similarly, the oo grapheme stands for /u:/ in English but for /o:/ in Dutch. Assuming that phonological coding happens automatically in L1, this implies that frequently the wrong phonemes will be activated for a person reading in L2, unless the grapheme-phoneme conversion system is able to integrate the cross-language inconsistencies in the mappings, just like it is able to cope with within-language inconsistencies (e.g., bead vs. head). In a series of experiments, Brysbaert and colleagues (Brysbaert et al., 1999; Van Wijnendaele & Brysbaert, 2002) showed that the word recognition system solves the problem by activating the phonology simultaneously according to the L1 mappings and the L2 mappings (Lange, 2002). Brysbaert et al. concluded that the automatic, simultaneous activation of phonemes according to the different languages known to an individual is an inherent aspect of visual word recognition in bilinguals. It implies not only that L2 reading in a bilingual will be different from L1 reading in a monolingual, but also that L1 reading in a bilingual will be different from L1 reading in a monolingual (due to the parallel activation of phonemes according to the L2 correspondences).

Morphological strategy
Some psycholinguistic models of word recognition include morphology in representations of words. The main question to be addressed however is how polymorphemic words are stored in the mental lexicon: in a decomposed state as a whole. Assuming that word are represented as separate morphemes recognition would involve two subsequent processes of morphological analysis: decomposition to identify separate morphemes and derivational pattern; and composition to access the complete morphological representation. Taft proposes a theory that morphologically complex words undergo decomposition on a pre-lexical level of recognition to access the morphological base (root) (Taft, 1975, 1979). A verification of this theory was found I language users who can understand new words if they know the meaning of the constituting roots and affixes. This indicates that language users possess tacit morphological knowledge which they strategically use for recognition (Sproat, 1992). Alternative approach is supported by the proponents of the theory that excludes morphology from word recognition process (Butterworth, 1983; Henderson, 1985). According to this theory lexical access to polymorphemic words does not necessitate morphological parsing and morphological decomposition. In this respect polymorphemic words do not differ from monomorphemic words and their recognition recruits the same processing mechanisms. There is a hypothesis that denies the existence of morphological representations altogether (McClelland & Rumelhart 1986; Seidenberg 1987). Morphemes are not represented in the mental 29

lexicon explicitly and morphological effects are inferred via interactions of phonological, orthographic and semantic features of words. Recent hypothesis regarding the status of polymorphemic words was proposed by Sandra, 1997 which finds support in Dual-route model (Coltheart). This model postulates that a parallel processing is involved in polymorphemic word recognition: retrieval of a whole-word representation and morphological parsing. Sandra theorizes that although morphological parsing may be unavoidable at the early stage of word acquisition, it may not be necessary in the course of time. Frequent encounter with the word contributes to direct access to lexical representation. A further hypothesis predicts that for high frequent polymorphemic words the stage of morphological decomposition can be skipped altogether. Morphological analysis depends on the degree of motivation, distribution of affixes, productivity of derivational pattern, objective and subjective morphemic frequency, modality of perception etc. Zalevskaya defines the status of morpheme as a psycholinguistic unit connecting the surface tier of word forms and deep tier of word meanings in the mental lexicon. The subsequent question arises: how different morphemes (roots, affixes, inflexions) are stored in the mental lexicon. Stemberger proposed a "rule-governed" theory that morphemes are stored not discretely but as a set of morphological rules (Stemberger, 1985). Root morphemes and productive affixes are retrieved as basic rules presupposing direct access to the lexical entry in the mental lexicon; non-productive affixed are minor rules. Root morphemes are stored separately from affixes. There is a suggestion that within the experimental setting, the number of morphemes in a word affects recognition strategy (Rubin, Becker, & Freeman, 1979). A major unresolved issue concerns the role of subword units such as syllables and morphemes in word recognition. Does reading a word such as farmer involve parsing it into the morphemes [farm] + [er] or merely using orthographic and phonological information? Although several studies have provided evidence for lexical decomposition, the extent to which it occurs in reading is not known. Any decomposition scheme runs up against what to do with cases like corner or display, which appear to be morphologically complex but are not. Connectionist models have also begun to provide an alternative account in which morphological structure reflects an emergent, interlevel representation mediating correlations among orthography, phonology, semantics, and aspects of grammar. Word recognition depends on the morphological and morphemic structure of a word. We distinguish monosyllabic root-words, derivatives, compound words etc. We use moroheme-based technique and morphological decomposition and composition to decode the meaning of such words as rewritable. It was proved by an experiment with false derivatives such as relish or revive etc. Some words in English have lucid or obscure (vague) inner form (deadline) A lot of words were built by means of conversion which begs the question what part of speech is going to be recognized quicker?

Semantic Strategies Contextual / Situational Clues Psycholinguistics broadly defines context as a minimal amount of information involved in the interpretation of a phrase. Sperber & Wilson define context as a psychological construct containing a set of notions and concepts about the world (Sperber, Wilson 1986). From psycholinguistic perspective contexts can be external verbalize and internal perceptive-cognitive and affective (emotive and evaluative) verbal and non-verbal. In this regard it corresponds to Zhinkin and Vygotsky's concept of inner speech. Word identification implies interpreting the meaning of the word from the point of view of individual's subjective world view and the system of concepts, notions and general understanding of the world (world knowledge). Inner context is represented by a situation, a fragment of the individual's world knowledge. In the process of recognition certain specific elements of the situation become 30

activated (subject, object, instrument, motive, result). This prediction very well resembles Wierzbicka's concept of semantic primitives or semantic metalanguage and Zhinkin's Universal Object Code (USC). The question to be addresses is how readers determine the meanings of words and integrate them with the contexts in which they occur. Words in texts tend not to be very predictable, which makes using context to guess them an inefficient strategy. The computation of a words meaning is nonetheless constrained by context, as is clearly the case for ambiguous words such as rose and plane but also relatively unambiguous words such as cat. For example, in a sentence about petting, the word cat may activate the feature <fur>; in a context about getting scratched, cat will activate <claws> (Merrill, Sperber, and MacCauley 1981).

Mental Image Strategy

Any object of nomination is an element of extra-linguistic reality which is projected into the consciousness or mental space in the form of perceptional imagery (affect memory). An image is a synergy of perceptual and empirical components of experience and world knowledge. Reitman and Vygotsky agree that thinking in part relies on visually encoded elements of previous experience. Shtern in her study of perceptual processing makes an observation that structural integrity of words indicates that words are perceived holistically as gestalts. Word recognition depends on the ability of words to produce vivid images in the mind of the individual (imageability/concreteness effect). Mental image can directly access conceptual representation of the word. The term imageability often equals concreteness. The traditional view of postulates that imageability is dependent on semantic features of the word (Gee et al., 1999; Chugunova, 2006). Concrete words produce a more vivid image than abstract concepts (cf. CHAIR LOVE). Modern approach emphasizes the role of whole-word form and inner structure on the imageability effect (Reilly & Kean, 2007) (e.g.: word pointyness - a measure of how angular the overall appearance of a word is). On the basis of etymology Germanic words possess higher degree of imageability as opposed words of Latin origin. Imageability is sensitive to morphological structure of a word: the fewer is the number of affixes the stronger is imageability. Imageability is very subjective: certain abstract but meaningful concepts with emotive charge that express feelings, impressions or memories of the individual may produce vivid images (cf. ABHOR). Imageability is contingent on age of acquisition and familiarity: more vivid words are acquired at an early age and are effortlessly recognized (see The Bristol Norms for Age of Acquisition, Imageability and Familiarity). Mental images can be integral and discrete, concrete, abstract or blurred. Integral image can't be dissociated on constituent elements; its main function is to cue categorical meaning of the word instantaneously without detailed analysis (Shekhter, 2001). Barsuk contends that integral image of the object belonging to some class / category can emerge through activation of the image of an exemplary representative of the category. V. Denisova studied imageability of English words for Russian-English bilinguals. She found that bilingual's L1 influences imageability of L2 words. High degree of imageability: bath, beach, bride, dress, hammer, leaf, pistol, rainbow, sausage, shark. Medium degree of imageability: card, humour, minute, probe, reward, ride, saint, screen, smell, spring. Low degree of imageability: absurd, affect, impairment, lack, notion, output, request, stance, treason, trend.

Semantic Features Strategy

Differences in the meaning of words in L1 and L2 are captured by assuming that the meaning of words is not unitary, but consists of a bundle of semantic features (Kroll & de Groot, 1997). The process of recognition is guided by a bundle of intrinsic semantic features of the word. Semantic


features access conceptual representation of the word. transitional stage between perceptual processing and cognitive processing Keil & Batterman (1984) elaborated a theory of semantic features according to which word meaning consists of a set of characterizing and defining features. Defining features are indispensable elements of word semantic structure. The more well-known is the concept the more defining features are associated with it in the mind of the individual. Operations with semantic features underlie the process of word recognition. These are specification and generalization, differentiation and integration. Alternative opinion belongs to A. Wierzbicka: she claims that natural understanding of word meaning is not based on its decomposition on semantic features. The concept of a word is not thought as a set of some features and absence of others. Semantic features strategy is implemented by establishing associative connections within the dialectical unity "semantic feature exemplar". Exemplar or prototype represents an ideal manifestation of a certain feature. It's an onomasiological structure in which concept exists within its feature and vice versa. The complex "semantic feature exemplar" is an elementary pattern of storing world knowledge in the mental lexicon. Shekhter singles out three stages of perceptual identification: 1. Perception of an image of the object as an integral unity; 2. Extricating relevant semantic features and establishing connections between them; a. Associating them with ideal representatives carriers of this feature (exemplars, images, prototypes); b. Implicit activation of a broader range of semantic features belonging to the identified exemplar; 3. Integration of semantic features into a more accurate image of an object. Ford & Nosovsky put forward an idea of two interdependent perceptual-cognitive mechanisms of information processing: classification and typification of semantic features (Ford & Nosovsky; Herman & Winson). Semantic features hypothesis is reinforced by symbolic approach in cognitive science. The conception of sign systems assumes that physical world is reflected in the mind through symbolic structures denoting objects of extra-linguistic reality and relationships between them. The symbols have varying degrees of abstraction: images, gestalts, psychological constructs, patterns, notions and concepts. Identification system decomposes the whole into discrete features and subsequently integrates features into a whole. Only most relevant features are activated. Shekhter emphasizes the value of irrelevant / additional / attendant / peripheral semantic features of concept in word recognition. She came to a conclusion that recognition system makes use of irrelevant features as cues to identify more essential features (Shekhter, 1981; Kossov, 1996) There is no comprehensive classification of semantic features due to their non-linear character and high degree of subjectivity. As Nikitin and Zhinkin point out behind any semantic feature there is an object; for language user word is fused with the object that it names (Nikitin, 1988). According to Zalevskaya semantic feature can be further dissociated on features of features. They bear a certain ethno-cultural imprint (converging and diverging semantic features) (Zalevskaya).

Categorization Strategy
A further important line of lexical research addresses the question of how language users succeed in classifying real-world objects by reference to categories (e.g.: BIRD or FURNITURE). Semantic categorization is defined as a cognitive process of identification of an object by ascribing it to a category. There two lines of categorization: the line of linguistic knowledge and the line of world knowledge. Categorization has three hierarchical levels: superordinate (generalization),


coordinate / basic and subordinate (specification). On a lexical level of language system categorization is represented by hyperonymy, synonymy / antonymy and hyponymy. During recognition semantic categorization implies inclusion of the word into a pair "category name category member" or vice versa. However there exist other categorical relationships between objects: "part the whole" (e.g. finger - hand), a member of a pair (e.g.: day night); "one-many" (e.g.: tree - forest); interconnection based on function (e.g. key lock); parts of one unity (e.g.: fingers, palm, wrist hand) et al. Investigating mental lexicon Zalevskaya devised a theory of triple categorization: a word enters in categorical relationships with other units of mental lexicon via cognitive, emotional (affective) and language experience. Categorization is a subjective phenomenon and is closely connected with individual world view. Frumkina's experiment with categorizing colours demonstrated that it largely depends on individual's personal experience, feelings, sensations, concepts and intuition. She used subjectivity as an underlying principle of classification of categorization strategies. "Layman" tends to look for similarity; "pedants" are on the lookout for potential differences. "Metaphorists" tend to differentiate subtle nuances of colour (e.g.: lime, silver), "literals" focus on precision. Categorization employs the mechanisms of inner predication and semantic substitution to establish subjective equivalency of words based on a common relevant semantic feature. Inner predication helps to establish connection between elements of mental lexicon. Semantic substitution estimates semantic similarity Category matching requires access to conceptual memory. According to Kroll & Dufour (1995) only relatively fluent bilinguals who are able to directly access meaning for their L2 can use categorical information across languages (categorization strategy). The performance of less fluent bilinguals was expected to reflect reliance on lexical-level connections between languages, i.e. translation equivalents. Less fluent bilinguals have access to limited conceptual information in L2. Rosch (1975) premised that users base their categories upon a highly typical example (in the case of BIRD, a robin). They ascertain whether a newly encountered object fits the category by considering how closely it resembles this ideal. Roschs Prototype Theory has been much challenged. Recent commentators have preferred an exemplar view, with the category constituted by the users ability to recall many different instances of items that belong to it. Conceptualization is an extension of categorization and one of the basic cognitive mechanism of processing information (Kubryakova, 1996; Elivanova; Zalevskaya, Nikitin, Bierwisch, S.A. Gelman, L.Namy, D.Gentner et al.). Concept has a discrete structure: notion, assessment, image (Krasik. 2002). Three types of concepts are singled out: notion (generalized perceptual visual image); gestalts (complex psychological constructs encompassing prototypes (Fillmore), frames, scenarios, patterns); ideas (the result of conscious rational interpretation of the object/phenomenon)

Inner Form Strategy

The role of inner form of the word in word recognition has been thoroughly discussed by many Russian psycholinguists. Inner form is understood as an actualization of perceptual-cognitive-affective complex behind the word form in the mind of a language user. Shumova's study of inner form strategy focused on cross-language interactions effects on bilingual word recognition. The phenomenon described by Shumova is known in western psycholinguistics as interlingual cognate effect. In her study she coined the term "interlingual omologisms" to describe similar lexical units within and across languages that facilitate L2 word recognition. The degree of orthographic, phonological and semantic similarity varies from complete correlation of cross-language counterparts (e.g.: film - , football , humour - , skepticism - ) to partial (e.g.: tune ). Recognition of interlingual cognates in RussianEnglish bilinguals is contingent on knowledge of L2 morphology (e.g.: banality - , absurdity , gesture ). Shumova concludes that cross-language transfer is a basic recognition strategy for interlingual cognates (Shumova, 2000). Interlingual omologisms or cognates are opposed to interlingual homographs / homophones with a sufficient discrepancy in word semantics (e.g.: intelligence ; artist ). 33

Inner form cue facilitates acquisition and retention of L2 word in classroom bilingualism context. Invoking inner form strategy while integrating a new word into the mental lexicon is an effective mnemonics strategy. Discovering resemblance of words in L1 and L2 is accompanied by positive emotional charge and strengthens the associative connection with other lexical units. In some cases morphological parsing can help reveal the cognate status of a word (Medvedeva, 1992). International lexical units exist across languages and cultures; most of them are of Latin origin. Therefore it's essential that students know Latin roots and affixes as a prerequisite of accurate English word recognition. Medvedeva approached the phenomenon of inner form from the perspective of second language personality and defined it as a range of structurally-semantic cues that help language learner to acquire new vocabulary unit and integrate it into the lexicon, endowing it with personal value and subjective meaning (Medvedeva, 1992).

Similar / Opposite Strategy

M. Pokrovsky in his work in semasiology states that the main grounds for grouping words in the mind is their similarity or direct contrast in meaning (Pokrovsky, 1959). Zalevskaya mentions a general strategy of word recognition is through correlation with a lexical unit similar in meaning. Quoting Zalevskaya "for every relevant semantic feature there is a search for similar or opposite concepts which are not equivalent to lexical synonyms and antonyms. Lexical synonymy /antonymy reflects only the most prominent relationships on a superficial level (between lemmas). Similars / opposites (deep synonymy/antonymy) express a wider range of connections on a level of conceptual representations and are utterly subjective and personal. For similars / opposites word class (part of speech) correlation is inconsequential: HEAR deaf, SEE blind, LEMON sweet. Table 1. Word Identification Strategies FORMAL STRATEGY Structural Cues (Word form cues) Phonetic Form Graphic Form (Orthographic) Morphemic Form SEMANTIC STRATEGY Semantic Cues (Word meaning cues) Features / Mental Image Set-phrases, speech patterns, idiomatic Similar / Opposite phrases Categorization Language and Cultural Inner Form Realia Translation Background Knowledge Subjective Definition Pragmatic Interpretation Introducing a situation


Empirical Research
Free Word Association Test. The basic technique for exploring the lexical network is through word association tasks (Read, 2004). One of the most accessible and most easily understood methods of studying the structure of semantic relationships in bilingual lexicons is the use of word associations (Meara). Although associations were originally used to assess the cognitive development of children in their mother tongue and for diagnostic purposes in psychoanalysis, psycholinguists and second language researchers adopted it to test various hypotheses. By comparing the associations of native and non-native speakers, they have attempted to find out to what extent associations given by nonnative speakers are similar to those of native speakers (Piper & Leicester, 1980; as cited in Wolter, 2001, p. 44; Schmitt, 1998b). A word association task is defined as one where speakers of a language are given a set of stimulus words one by one and they are instructed to give the first word that comes to their mind (Read, 2004). In its simplest form, this technique involves the presentation of a number of single words to the subjects participating, and they are then instructed to reply with the first word that each of these stimulus words makes them think of. (Meara) The bulk of the responses produced in tasks of this sort are noteworthy principally for their banality, at least as long as unmotivated, common words are used. Far from being original, most people's responses are characteristically shared with a large proportion of the rest of the population of normal adult native speakers (cf. Pollio 1966; Deese 1965; Postman and Keppel 1970). This phenomenon, known as associational stereotypy, is found in all languages that have been investigated, though the absolute levels of stereotypy vary from one culture to another. English has particularly high levels of stereotypy compared to other languages. French, German, Italian and Polish are all significantly less stereotyped than English is (cf. Rosenzweig 1961; Szalay and Deese 1978; VikisFreibergs and Freibergs 1976; Kurcz 1966). (Meara) Although this experimental method is not without its drawbacks it is perfect to be used in a classroom setting. One of the shortcomings of previous studies is that few investigations have been made into semantic visual word recognition strategies and there is a mismatch between theory and research. Normal adult native speakers tend to produce more paradigmatic responses than syntagmatic ones, at least as long as the stimulus words are fairly common words. Infrequent words, such as ABDICATE or INITIATIVE are more likely to produce syntagmatic response forms such as KING or TAKE (Stoltz & Tiffany 1972). We used Free Associative experiment as a primary method of gathering empirical data. We examined and analized the responses with the help of statistical methods and comparative methods. Their associating patterns were compared with those of native speakers of Russian and English, in order to detect possible cross-cultural and cross-linguistic interactions. To that end we used data from EAT (English Associative Thesaurus) and RAT (Russian Assicoative Thesaurus). We investigated whether such influence is modulated by the speaker's linguistic trajectory, which in turn influences their relative proficiency and dominance in the two languages. We also examined whether the potential for L2 shifts can be linked to specific characteristics of the categories in the L1 or L2. Besides quantitative analysis (descriptive and inferential statistical procedures) of the responses given by the students, there is also a need for a qualitative analysis of the associations to determine the type of connection between the stimulus and the response which can lead to explicating an identification strategy. Contrastive analysis of data can show cross-language and cross-cultural interactions that take in the learner's bilingual lexicon. Objectives of the experiment 35

1. 2. 3. 4.

Test our primary hypothesis Test the development of inhibitory control Test effect of cross-language interactions To build a system of word recognition strategies on the basis of connections between the stimulus and the response. 5. what linguistic and extra-linguistic means help to infer the meaning of the English word 6. investigate cognitive and semantic strategies that are invoked during the process of word recognition (in our experiment: the process of word associations).

Twenty undergraduate 5th year students aged 21-22 from Kaluga State University participated in the experiment. All of them are Russian native speakers and studied English as major foreign language at the faculty of foreign languages. The majority of the participants attained high level of proficiency in English. Second foreign language was French and German.

In compiling the stimulus list we referred to a study by De Groot & Van den Brink on word type effects on vocabulary acquisition, retention and recognition and on the original concept of mental lexicon and language consciousness (Zolotova, Zalevskaya) We compiled a heterogeneous list of generally unmotivated common words. We based it on the principle used in compilation of KentRosanoff list and the principal studies of word associations in L2 (Meara, Zalevskaya). Previous studies in word recognition showed that word recognition strategies are sensitive to word type, task demands. The evaluation of the lexical processing of different word types has been the scope of research by de Groot and her colleagues. Within the category of word types de Groot and Comijs (1995) differentiated between the familiarity variables (word frequency, word familiarity), and semantic variables (concreteness, context availability and definition accuracy). The stimulus list consisted of 16 English words printed in capital letters. We attempted to influence the output by manipulating the proportion of different types of words in each of the following categories. Stimuli Variables: 1. Word Class (part of speech). 8 nouns: SHADOW, PITY, DREAM, TRUTH, APPEAL, ADVANCE, SPECULATION, FUTURE; 8 adjectives: PERFECT, DISTANT, CAPABLE, BRAVE, BRIGHT, HOLY, INTELLIGENT, INCESSANT 4nouns have a corresponding verb formed by means of conversion: TO PITY, TO DREAM, TO APPEAL, TO ADVANCE. In the stimulus list word-forms were printed without particle to, a formal marker of the verb so that they could be identified either way. According on Zolotova's theory of mental lexicon nouns and adjectives occupy the central position in the lexicon and are therefore easier to identify. 2. Word Frequency. Degree of Familiarity The frequency with which words occur in the language is arguably the best documented and most robust predictor of word recognition performance. High frequency words are processed faster and more accurately than low-frequency words. In the experiment of Brysbaert et al. (2011) with the English Lexicon Project (Balota, 2007) word frequency came out as the most important variable accounting for almost 41% of the variance in the output. Similarly, Murray and Forster (2004, p. 721) concluded that: "Of all the possible stimulus variables that might control the time required to recognize a word pattern, it appears that by far the most potent is the frequency of occurrence of the pattern". As 36

Wolter suggests (2002) associations tend to converge if a word is well-known by the students, whereas with lesser-known words, there is a divergence of associative reactions. Generally, research indicates that concrete and frequent words are processed faster than abstract and infrequent words. To assess word frequency we used Word Frequency list of the British National Corpus (Geoffrey Leech, Paul Rayson, Andrew Wilson 2001). The stimulus list consisted of words of varying frequency count. In our experiment words with count lower than 20 are considered to be low-frequency control words (PITY, SPECULATION, INTELLIGENT, BRAVE, INCESSANT). 3. Morphology The stimulus list consisted of monosyllabic and polysyllabic root words and two derivatives as controls (SPECULATION, INCESSANT). 4. Lexical Character. Cognate-status. We used interlingual cognates - words that have similar or identical orthography and overlap in meaning across languages (English-Russian cognates: APPEAL, DISTANT, BRAVE,; English-French cognates: APPEAL, ADVANCE, INTELLIGENT, SPECULATION, FUTURE, CAPABLE, PERFECT, INCESSANT). All cognates have Latin origin. Control words were interlingual homographs / homophones or false friends (English-Russian: INTELLIGENT, SPECULATION; English-French: BRAVE). The general strategy consisted in presenting bilinguals with words in one language that share some lexical property or properties with words from their L1 to detect cross-language interference. Words that share lexical form and meaning with the non-target language (e.g., the cognate distant in English and in Russian) or control words that do not share any lexical property with the non-target language (e.g., pencil). The subsequent task is to compare the bilinguals word recognition performance, in terms of accuracy of recognition for these critical words relative to control words that do not share lexical properties. 5. Semantic Structure. Ambiguity. Several stimuli have more than one meaning and can be considered polysemantic or ambiguous: DREAM, BRIGHT, APPEAL, ADVANCE. 6. Imageability / Concreteness Our stimulus list consisted of abstract words with low imageability count: DREAM, TRUTH, PITY, FUTURE. These stimuli are likely to have different conceptual representations across languages and cultures. 7. Culture-dependent concepts Apart from all the mentioned criteria we employed the parameter of culture dependent or culture specific concept. We used stimuli that could present interest for analysis from the cross-cultural perspective revealing ethno-specific cultural stereotypes of conceptualization (PERFECT, DREAM, PITY, BRAVE, TRUTH, FUTURE).

The participants were presented with a list of stimuli in visual modality. The task instruction was to give a single word that first comes to mind on seeing the stimulus. The participants were not restricted in the language of with the purpose of testing the level of cognitive inhibitory control in the bilinguals. The participants however were subjected to time pressure in order to prevent over thinking of responses.


We elicited 317 responses to 16 stimuli. For data interpretation of the word associations we ran a mixed-effect analysis which consisted of quantitative statistical procedures on presently available association categories (paradigmatic, syntagmatic, phonological clang and analytic responses) and qualitative procedures (inferring semantic strategy for word recognition). This analysis was complemented with the analysis of language choice in the responses and cross-language and crosscultural contrastive analysis of the participants' responses and native speakers'. We evaluated the results from quantitative point of view on several criteria: 1. Typicality / Stereotypy of reactions To calculate mean stereotypy of reactions count we introduced one of the methods proposed by Zalevskaya (1979). INTELLIGENT 55%, FUTURE 50%, SHADOW 47,6%, PERFECT 45%, BRIGHT 45%, PITY 40%, APPEAL 40%, TRUTH 35%, CAPABLE 20%, HOLY 20%, DREAM 10%, INCESSANT 10%. Stimulus SPECULATION did not generate stereotypical reactions. The interesting finding is the dependence of stereotypy on the language of associating: associations in L2 had a higher degree of stereotypy. The most stereotypical responses in L1 were translation equivalents of the stimulus. 2. The Ratio of different reactions to single reactions: 256/214 3. The number of null-results: 4 (1,3%). Absence of verbal response (null-result) is attributable to high degree of unfamiliarity of words. In our case the majority of null results were for the stimulus INCESSANT. 4. The ratio of semantic reactions to formal reactions 94% to 6% 5. The ratio of intralingual (coordinative) to interlingual (subordinative) responses: 74% to 25%: 1,3% - responses in L3 (French). Qualitative procedure consisted in 1. Classification of responses 2. Inference of identification strategies and cues on the basis of analysis of associative connection between stimulus and response 3. Detecting and analysis of instances of cross-language interactions effects: crosslanguage transfer and interference. Evaluation of L1 lexicon influence on L2 word recognition 4. Cross-linguistic contrastive analysis of associative fields of stimuli with data from Associative Thesauri (EAT and RAT) taken as a model of language consciousness of The English and the Russian. 5. Assessment of the degree of ethno-cultural specificity of responses We classified all word associations according to a traditional principle proposed by Zalevskaya, J. Fitzpatrick and Wolter, 2001. However the classification systems vary depending on the underlying principle of grouping. 1. Paradigmatic responses have the same grammatical function as the prompt word and can be of four types: coordinates, superordinates, subordinates, and synonyms. PERFECT great, ideal, excellent, , ; SHADOW light, shade, darkness; PITY sorrow, , dommage; DISTANT far; TRUTH lie; CAPABLE able, good, skilled, mighty; BRAVE honest, strong, good, bad; BRIGHT dark, glorious; INTELLIGENT smart, clever; ADVANCE promotion, progress; SPECULATION thinking, trick; INCESSANT constant, permanent, endless; FUTURE past. 2. Syntagmatic responses have a collocational or sequential relationship with the prompt word, and are not from the same word class. PERFECT Present, tense, answer, husband, pupil, fit, ; SHADOW dark, black, of a smile; DISTANT road, way, point, house, place, image, ; DREAM world; CAPABLE man, of doing smth; BRAVE man, hero, warrior, policeman, heart, beast, , home; TRUTH clear, sweet, ugly, hard, hurts; BRIGHT sun, light, colour, girl, ; HOLY Bibe, Jesus, Trinity, cross, church, saint, day; APPEAL sex, to Caesar, street, 38

; INTELLIGENT person, people, dog, student, professor; ADVANCE level (advanced level), book (to book in advance), quick, clean and clear, early; SPECULATION long; FUTURE Simple, job, plans; 3. Phonological or clang associations are semantically unrelated but similar-sounding words. PITY Pete; DISTANT ; CAPABLE cap, palpable, ; BRAVE ; BRIGHT bride; HOLY Poly; APPEAL appear, apple; ADVANCE advantage, adventure; SPECULATION circulation, ; INCESSANT indecent, insist, incest, innocent, interessant, ; FUTURE nature, fortune, "". Read (1993) added a fourth category: analytic responses, which resemble a definition of characteristics, as if explained in a dictionary. On average an adult language user is said to produce more paradigmatic responses than syntagmatic and relatively few instances of "clang" reactions. In addition to three above mentioned categories we classified associations based on the following criteria: 1. Participants choice of language of associating. We distinguished intralingual (coordinative) responses (associations made in the target language) and interlingual (subordinative / crosslanguage associations) responses (associations made in the participants' native language). The majority of interlingual responses constituted translation equivalents on the stimulus words. Intralingual responses: PERFECT excellent, great, beautiful, ideal, innovation; BRAVE honest, strong, man, hero, warrior, policeman; BRIGHT sun, light, brightness, dark, colour. Interlingual responses: SHADOW , , , ; PITY , , ; DREAM , , ; DISTANT , , , , , ; CAPABLE , , , ; BRAVE , , ; TRUTH , , , . A separate category was formed by responses in participants' L3 (English-French associations): PITY dommage; DREAM rve; BRAVE homme; INCESSANT intressant. 2. Direct / Indirect responses. Indirect responses were the result of a complex association process that involved several intermediary stages. Intermediate element revealed either intralingual or cross-lingual connections FUTURE [] light. APPEAL [apple] ; BRIGHT [bridge] . 3. Unusual (idiosyncratic) responses: PITY ; CAPABLE relation; APPEAL ; INCESSANT table. The next stage of analysis is concerned with explicating of semantic strategies and cues for word recognition. The underlying theoretical principle for grouping associations was the depth of accessing the semantic structure of a word. Based on Chomsky's level theory, motivational and semantic levels of Osgood and architectural organization of mental lexicon (Zalevskaya, Sazonova, Zolotova) recognition strategies fall into two macro-categories: formal and semantic. FORMAL STRATEGY (formal/motivational approach to associating words on surface level of mental lexicon with no semantic output): 1. Phonological Strategy ("clang" associations, i.e. responses that are phonetically related to the stimulus word, but fail to have any clear semantic connection with it.): a. initial element similarity: ADVANCE adventure, advantage; APPEAL appear; BRIGHT bride; BRAVE ; DISTANT ; SPECULATION ; INCESSANT insist, incest; PITY Pete. b. final element similarity: FUTURE nature; HOLY Poly; CAPABLE palpable; SPECULATION circulation; INCESSANT (French phonological strategy); c. frame similarity: INCESSANT innocent, indecent, intressant; APPEAL apple; 2. Orthographic Strategy: CAPABLE cap, ; FUTURE fortune, "". 3. Morphological Strategy (word-formation cue): a. Derivatives of the stimulus word (repetition of word-stem or word-root): TRUTH truly; BRIGHT brightness; ADVANCE disadvance (analogy with a familiar pattern advantage 39

disadvantage), advantage; DISTANT ; SPECULATION (etymologically related words of Latin origin); FUTURE ""; b. Derivational model (affixes). Suffix: SPECULATION circulation; CAPABLE palpable; INCESSANT intressant; Prefix: INCESSANT indecent. Phonetic and orthographic representations often overlap with morphological representations. SEMANTIC STRATEGY (content-based approach to associating, activation of connections between words on deep level of mental lexicon resulting in meaningful output). Semantic Feature (inclusion in a group "Semantic feature Exemplar"): PERFECT husband, pupil, answer, innovation; SHADOW dark, black; DISTANT road, way, house, image, ; CAPABLE man; BRAVE man, policeman, warrior, hero, heart, beast, ; TRUTH clear, sweet, ugly, hard; BRIGHT sun, light, colour, girl, , ; HOLY Bible, God, Jesus, Cross, Trinity, Saint; INTELLIGENT person, people, professor, student, dog; ADVANCE quick, clean and clear; SPECULATION long, black; INCESSANT man, question; FUTURE job, plans. Mental Image: SHADOW corner, tree, leaves, ; INTELLIGENT brief case, tie; DREAM palace, doll, ocean, ; DISTANT ; BRIGHT , ; PITY clown. Similar/Synonym: PERFECT excellent, great, ideal, beautiful, , ; SHADOW dark, darkness, black, shade, night, ; PITY sorrow, , poor, ; DREAM fancy, fantasy, wish, wonder, ; DISTANT far, far away, ; TRUTH earnest; CAPABLE able, good, mighty, skilled, witty; BRAVE strong, honest, good; BRIGHT red, glorious; APPEAL like; INTELLIGENT smart, clever, wit; ADVANCE progress, promotion; SPECULATION thinking, lie, trick, ficus, ; INCESSANT constant, permanent, endless; Opposite / Antonym: SHADOW light; CAPABLE innocent; BRAVE bad; TRUTH lie, , false; BRIGHT dark; DISTANT closer; INTELLIGENT rude; FUTURE past. Categorization (linguistic knowledge and world knowledge) ) superordinate semantic categorization (generalization): HOLY church, ; APPEAL court, law; SPECULATION crime, law, capitalism; INTELLIGENT education; INCESSANT (the response suggests recognition of part of speech characteristics of the stimulus which presents an example of linguistic knowledge categorization); DREAM sleep, , bed; ) subordinate semantic categorization (specification): CAPABLE ability; SPECULATION theft, , , . Inner form: Identification of cross-language cognates DISTANT . Inner form as an intermediale stage of associating: SPECULATION [] liar, lie, to deceive, crime, theft, black, trick, focus, law, capitalism, , , , , ; APPEAL [] court, law, paper, ( ); INTELLIGENT [] rude. Translation strategy: ) L1 translation equivalent: SHADOW ; PITY ; DREAM , ; DISTANT , ; CAPABLE ; BRAVE , ; TRUTH ; BRIGHT ; HOLY ; APPEAL (v.) ( ); INTELLIGENT ; FUTURE ; L3 translation equivalent: PITY dommage; DREAM - rve. ) Translation equivalent as an intermediate stage of associating ("disguised (implicit) translation") with further activation of verbal associative links characteristic of L1: FUTURE [] [" "] light; FUTURE [] [" "] ; TRUTH [] [" "] ; CAPABLE [c] ;




4. 5.




8. Subjective definition: PERFECT great, beautiful, , ; CAPABLE skilled, , ; ADVANCE , ; BRIGHT red; BRAVE honest; SPECULATION thinking, . 9. Inclusion in a predicate group (unfolding of the mechanism of implicit predication): TRUTH hurts; PERFECT ; BRAVE I; CAPABLE ; APPEAL (n.) ( ). 10. Activating of collocates, set-expressions, idioms, linguistic and cultural realia: word complement response which added to the stimulus forms a collocation, a proper name etc. E.g.: PERFECT fit, Present, Tense (The Present Perfect Tense); APPEAL sex, to, Caesar ("appeal to Caesar"); FUTURE Simple, Time, , job, plans; ADVANCE level, intermediate ( ), book (v.), tickets, early, time ("to book in advance"); CAPABLE of doing smth.; DREAM world; BRAVE heart, homme; HOLY Bible, Cross, Trinity, day; HOLY [day] (, New Year, Sunday) [Christmas] merry; DISTANT image, place, point. 11. Inclusion in a situation: PERFECT ; TRUTH eraser, destiny, ; SHADOW corner, ; BRIGHT ; BRAVE beast; DISTANT , , , unfear (spelling of the informant was preserved); ADVANCE attempt, ; INCESSANT , ; APPEAL street, , ; PITY clown, small, boy, child, dogs, poor, , cry, scream; DREAM palace, doll, ocean, , , legend, high; CAPABLE easy; BRIGHT discontent; FUTURE fortune, UFO, always, light; SPECULATION . 12. 'Reminiscence' strategy (background knowledge): APPEAL Caesar (Biblical phraseological unit "to appeal to Caesar"); FUTURE "" (the name of a TV show), UFO (Unidentified Flying Object); SHADOW smile, of a smile, (supposedly "The Shadow of a Smile" book title, "Shadow of your smile" a song by Frank Sinatra); DISTANT ""; HOLY Berry (the name of an American actress Halle Berry), wood (Hollywood); 13. Emotive and evaluative component (pragmatic strategy): PERFECT beautiful, excellent, husband, , ; SHADOW - night, black; PITY clown, small, child, boy, dogs, cry, scream, , ; DREAM palace, doll, ocean, wonder, ; DISTANT , unfear; CAPABLE mighty, witty; BRAVE honest, hero, heart, good, bad, beast; TRUTH sweet, ugly, hard, hurts, ; INTELLIGENT rude, ; SPECULATION crime, theft, liar, lie, law, black, trick, , , ; FUTURE always, light, . Discussion 94 % of participants resorted to semantic strategy while only 6 per cent used formal motivational strategy. This indicates the unconscious tendency to explain the meaning of a word "to myself" via inclusion of the stimulus into specific inner context (perceptual-cognitive-affective) of previous experience with reliance on some sensual / emotional component of meaning. Therefore most of word associations are highly subjective and idiosyncratic (e.g.: DREAM ocean, TRUTH hard). The analysis of formal motivational responses supports cohort model of word recognition and is consistent with the principle put forward by Zalevstaya: establishing connections between words on a surface structure tier of mental lexicon is based on coinciding elements within words. Formal reactions are instances of sound / orthographic substitution of stimulus with a similar word (e.g.: ADVANCE adventure, FUTURE nature). Stimulus INCESSANT prompted the majority of formal reactions. Since this stimulus was unfamiliar to some participants they didn't perceive it as a meaningful to them lexical unit. The absence of a perceptive pattern, lexical and conceptual representations for this word in the idiolexicon of these participants stimulated segmentation and identification of separate elements: mprphemes (INCESSANT indecent), sequences of phonemes / graphemes (INCESSANT insist, incest, innocent, intressant). The results demonstrated sensitivity to word structure, but also the ability to implement morphological analysis. Based on derivational model and the suffix ant this word was recognized as an adjective and it was included in an attributive phrase (INCESSANT man;


Incessant man) which is not correct from semantic point of view as the word incessant is a characteristic of inanimate objects and cannot be attributed to a human being. The choice of the dominant recognition strategy depends on the part of speech of the stimulus. For nouns it is search of a similar notion /synonym, translation equivalent in L1; for adjectives the main strategies of identification are attribution of a semantic feature to its exemplar/prototype or potential carrier and similar notion strategy. Empirical evidence suggests that there is a set of general semantic strategies indispensable to recognition of any lexical unit that take precedence over more specific identification strategies. They are organized hierarchically and include selection of relevant semantic feature(s), actualization of mental image, categorization / conceptualization, search for a similar / opposite concept on a paradigmatic level or actualization of a word complement on a syntagmatic level. The stimulus evokes a mental image which undergoes decomposition on semantic features and features of features (Zalevstaya). At the next stage semantic features subjectively relevant for the individual at a given point in time receive stronger activation. At the subsequent stage the relevant semantic feature triggers the process of categorization (generalization or specification) with subsequent activation of synonyms and antonyms on a paradigmatic level and stereotypical word combinations, collocations, set-phrases, prototypes, phraseological units and idioms, speech patterns and clichs on a syntagmatic level (e.g.: PERFECT fit; FUTURE plans; APPEAL Caesar; PERFECT Tense; CAPABLE of doing smth.). These strategies underlie the process of converting the presented word for into a concept in the mind of a language user. This hypothesis finds support in Zalevskaya's theory of semantic features, Shtern and Shekhter's conceptions of perceptual processing and dichotomy "image-features". The differentiation of semantic strategies is arbitrary as they are interconnected and may be invoked simultaneously by word identification system. The following examples indicate the activation of several strategies SPECULATION crime (Inner form strategy and superordinate semantic categorization); APPEAL (phonological "clang" strategy and translation strategy); ADVANCE early (activation of idiomatic set-phrase in advance and similar notion strategy). Certain word associations allowed for different interpretation of the connection between the stimulus and the response and subsequently the choice of recognition strategy. BRIGHT [bridge] can be construed as a purely phonological strategy with no access to semantic representation or subjective mental image cue, integration in a situation and attributing a semantic feature to an object). Now let's analyze the cases of incorrect recognition as they often present interesting ground for examination. Incorrect interpretation of the stimulus is the result of a mismatch in the lexicon of the participants. This example is consistent with the premise that phonological/orthographical strategy becomes invoked on a pre-lexical stage of word recognition when the whole word form is perceived by the sensory system. The associates to the stimulus HOLY Berry, wood, imply implicit connection with the name of an American actress Halle Berry, Hollywood and the paronym of the target word HOLY holly (Russian: ). Phonetic and orthographic discrepancy between the stimulus and the associations is suggestive of the fact that there are no orthographic representations for these units which resulted in the paronym mix-up. Interestingly, the results were the same for the native speakers control group (English Associative Thesaurus, Kiss). Regardless of the modality of perception the participants sound out the stimuli in inner articulation based on grapheme-phoneme conversion strategy. The word can be sounded out according to the rules of pronunciation of all languages known to the individual if they share the same script. Interlingual cognate INCESSANT which has an identical form in French was sounded out according to French phonological system (INCESSANT - intressant, ). As concerns the recognition of semantically ambiguous words only one of its meanings is identified, although several meanings receive a degree of activation. The recognized meaning may not be the most frequent but the most subjectively relevant / communicatively important meaning for the participant at a particular moment in time. E.g.: ADVANCE (n.) (1) forward movement, progress in time or space (responses: quick, clean and clear); (2) improvement, progress in development (responses: promotion, progress, , ); (3) (modifier) forward in position or time, e.g.: advance booking (responses: tickets, book, early, time) (Collins English Dictionary). 42

BRIGHT (1) colour; (2) girl. DREAM (1) sleep, bed, , ; (2) , fantasy, fancy, wish, wonder, rve. Experimental evidence supports BIA+ model (Dijkstra & van Heuven, 1998, 2002) of bilingual word recognition on several points. BIA model assumes nonselective access to words in the bilinguals two languages. According to the BIA model, the presentation of a word in one language also activates related lexical forms in the other language. With regard to language use, students can be divided into four distinct groups: 12 students (60%) provided all of their associations in English, 20% of the students gave responses both in English and Russian, 10% of the participants associated exclusively in Russian and responses of 10% of the students were in three languages (English, Russian and French). Language switch, i.e. giving a response in one language then turning to the other and continuing giving responses in that language, was often triggered by translations and was bidirectional. This result accounts for language nonselective lexical access and a relatively high level of cross-language competition in word recognition. However bilinguals possess well-developed cognitive control skills to suppress unwanted crosslanguage competition and interference. L1 and L2 and L3 constantly interact and interconnect with each other. This hypothesis is supported by code-switching during word recognition process in the experiment. Sometimes a coordinative response (in L2) was mediated by words in L1: FUTURE [" "] light, TRUTH [] [] clear, PERFECT [] [] husband. And vice versa L1 response was mediated by L2 word: HOLY [holly] , APPEAL [apple] . Codeswitching indicates strong cross-language connections in bilingual / multilingual lexicon and is consistent with interactive activation model of recognition: both languages are stored together and are activated simultaneously and automatically during word recognition. L1 affects the process of word recognition in an overt and covert way which can be observed in activation of L1 translation equivalents, random word associations, stereotypical set-phrases, semantic and conceptual system. This influence can either facilitate word recognition (cross-language cognate effect) or interfere with it (cross-language homograph effect). Cognate effect is accountable for positive transfer and is observed even for languages that do not share the same script (English-Russian). It accounts for the activation of a less frequent lexico-semantic variant of polysemantic word APPEAL [] court, law, ( ). Cross-language interference is induced by interlingual homograph effect when there is a sufficient divergence of semantic structure of correlating words in two languages. The definition of the stimulus INTELLIGENT is "having or indicating high intelligence; clever; perceptive; guided by reason, rational" (Collins dictionary. However its correlate in Russian means " , " Ozhegov (civilized, refined, sophisticated, cultured; belonging to intelligentsia). In the experiment the Russian counterpart was initially recognized and the response produced was Rude () which is the opposite notion for Russian . The same result was yielded for another control interlingual homograph stimulus SPECULATION. The overwhelming majority of associations (SPECULATION lie, liar, to deceive, black, crime, theft, , , ) clearly reflected interference with Russian correlate 1) (, , ) () (.; 2) , , ; 3) ., . , , -. . (Illegal buy up and resale of real estate, valuables, products for lucrative purposes and figurative meaning: malignant interest, insidious evil intent aimed at using smb. or smth. for mercenary ends). Let's compare it with the semantic structure of word SPECULATION 1) ideas or discussion about why something has happened or what might happen; 2) attempts to make a large profit by buying and selling things such as property or shares (McMillan Dictionary); 1) a supposition, theory, or opinion arrived at through speculating 2) investment involving high risk but also the possibility of high profits (Collins 43

Dictionary). The discrepancy in semantic structure indicates that under interference of L1 Russian concept of Speculation which has negative connotations was identified but not the target concept. The following association is a example of double interference effect of L1: SPECULATION [] [] [focus]. Participants were under the misapprehension that English word Focus means has the same meaning as its Russian counterpart as in a magical trick. Although the stimulus SPECULATION in its target meaning was unfamiliar to some of the students they generated responses whatsoever (unlike the case with the word INCESSANT which produced maximum null results). This can be attributed to the interlingual homograph status of the stimulus and the fact that it has a counterpart in the participants' L1 whereas INCESSANT does not. All responses were subjective and had an emotional colouring and an evaluative component absent from the semantic structure of the stimuli as stated by Thesaurus Dictionaries: PERFECT beautiful; BRAVE honest; TRUTH ugly; DREAM . This finding supports Zalevskaya's concept of word meaning and Sechenov and A.A.Leontiev's idea of specific sensual roots of word meaning. In all cases the participants strategically used the structural information within the word form to recognize or infer the meaning of the lexical unit. Participants turned to their background world knowledge, specific inner context of previous experience and information database that encompasses linguistic and encyclopaedic knowledge to recognize the meaning of the word within the framework of their individual world view. E.g.: APPEAL street; PERFECT ; PITY clown; DREAM palace, legend. The next stage of qualitative analysis of experimental data consisted in cross-language and crosscultural comparison of the participants' responses with those of native speakers of English and Russian to estimate the level of cross-cultural interference and ethno-cultural specificity of word recognition process. Quoting Russian ethno-psycholinguist Ufimtseva Associative Thesaurus represents "a number of rules of operating cultural knowledge (verbal and non-verbal meanings and senses) that reflect the world view of this culture". As an exemplary model of English and Russian language consciousness we used EAT (English Associative Thesaurus, G. Kiss) and RAT (Russian Associative Thesaurus, Karaulov et al.) respectively. To detect and evaluate differences and similarities between the participants' responses and native speaker norms by performing a cross-linguistic comparative analysis. Table 2. Comparative Experimental Data




Excellent (10%), Great (10%), Present (10%), Beautiful, Ideal (5%), Innovation, Tense, Answer, Husband, Pupil, Fit; (15%), , , Dark (15%), Darkness (10%), Tree (10%), Black (5%), Shade (5%), Night, Corner, Leaves, Light, Smile, Of a smile; (15%), , , Cry (10%), Small (10%), Sorry (10%), Sorrow (5%), Boy, Child, Clown,

Imperfect, Christine, Good, Ideal (4%), Right, Me, Bliss, Heaven, Impossible, Nothing, Past, Pure, Shape, Beauty (1), Pupil (1)

Dark (19%), Sun (14%), Shade (7%), Boxer, Wall, Black (3%), Eye, Grey, Guitar, Boxing, Darkness (2%), Light (2%), Tree (2%), Night (1) Shame, Sympathy, Me, Sorrow (5%), Poor (3%), Sake, Compassion, Fear,

(5%), (3%), , (3%), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1) , , , , , ,


Pete, Dogs, Poor, Scream; (10%), , , ; Dommage

Sadness, Self







Sleep (10%), Palace, Doll, Ocean, Fantasy, Fancy, Wish, Wonder, World, Legend, Bed, High; , , , , , ; Rve Far (15%), Road (10%), Far away (5%), Way (5%), Point, House, Image, Place, Closer, Unfear ( ); , , , , , , Able (10%), Ability (10%), Good, Skilled, Mighty, Man, Palpable, Relation, Witty, Easy, Innocent, Cap, Of doing smth; , , , , Honest (10%), Strong (10%), Man (10%), Hero, Warrior, Policeman, Heart, Beast, I, Good, Bad; (10%), , ; Homme Lie (25%), False (5%), Earnest, Clear, Sweet, Ugly, Hard, Truly, Hurts, Destiny, Eraser; (10%), , , Sun (25%), Light (20%), Brightness, Dark, Colour, Red, Glorious, Girl, Bride, Discontent; , ,

Sleep (26%), Night, Day, Nightmare, Boat, Clouds, Freud, Girl, Like, Sweet, Wish (1), Wonder (1), World (1)

(2%), , , , (1%) (1%), (1), (1) (1), (1), (1) (4%), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1)

Far (45%), Near, Afar, Drums, Far off, Horizon, Relative, Cousin, Far away (2%), Hill, Hills, View, House (1), Fear (1), Places (1), Road (1)

, (11%), (5%), (2%), (2%), (1), (1), (1)

Able (27%), Incapable, Brown, Clever, Good (3%), Ability (2%), Can, Efficient, Person, Strong, Useless, Easily (1), Man (1), Of (1)


Indian, Strong (7%), Courageous, Souldier, Courage, Coward, Man (4%), Foolhardy, Good (3%), Hero (3%), Me (3%), Bold, Boy, Fierce, Lion, Warrior (2%), Bad (1), Heart (1) Lie (25%), Lies, False (5%), Honesty, Drug, Falsehood, Good, Honest, Light, Peace, Youth Light (13%), Dull, Sun (8%), Dark (6%), Dim, Early, Shining, Shiny, Star, Sunny, Clear, Day, Lights, Shine, Sunshine, Boy (1), Colour (1), Summer (1), Yellow (1) Bible (9%), Church (8%), God (6%), Water, Berry (3%), Ivy, Priest, Saint (3%), Spirit, Ghost, Island, Land, Man, Night, Place, Pure, Thou, Trinity (2%), Christmas (1), Cross (1), Holly (1), Jesus (1) Sex (13%), Ask, Money,

(21%), (7%), (5%), (4%), (4%), (2%), (2%), (1)

(12%), (6%), (4%), (1%), (1), (1), (1) (45%), (4%), , (1), (1)

(8%), , (2%),


Bible (10%), God (10%), Jesus, Cross, Trinity, Church, Saint, Wood, Day, Sunday, New Year, Berry, Poly, Merry; , , , Apple (20%), Court

, , , , (4%), , , (4%), (2%), (1), (1), (1)








(20%), Law, Sex (5%), Appear, Like, To, Caesar, Paper, Street; , ( ), , Smart (15%), Clever (10%), Person (10%), People (10%), Wit, Education, Dog, Student, Professor, Tie, Brief case, Rude; (10%), Level (10%), Advantage (10%), Book (v) (10%), Intermediate, Quick, Clean and clear, Early, Promotion, Progress, Tickets, Time, Adventure, Attempt, Disadvance; , , Thinking, Liar, Lie, To deceive, Black, Crime, Theft, Law, Trick, Focus, Long, Capitalism, Circulation; , , , , , , Constant (10%), Permanent, Endless, Man, Question, Table, Indecent, Insist, Incest, Innocent; , , , Intressant, Null Results - 4 Simple (20%), Time (10%), Job (10%), Past, Light, Always, Nature, Plans, Fortune, UFO; (10%), , , ""

Court (5%), Fund, Plead, Charity, Like (3%), Beg, Help, Man, Nice, Out, Plea, Apple (1), To (1)

, , , ,

Clever (25%), Bright, Brain, Dumb, Yes, Brainy, Man, Me, People (3%), Person (3%), Brains, Human, Test, Dog (1), Smart (1), Student (1), Boast (1), Book (1), Glasses (1) Retreat, Forward, Army, Go, Guard, Retard, Before, Loan, Payment, Progress (2%), Retire, Towards, Ticket (1), Time (1)

(18%), (2%), (2%), (2%), (1), (1), (1).





(8%), (6%), (2%), (1%), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1), (1) (13%), , (4%), , (3%), (2%), (1), (1), (1)

Past (42%), Present, Time (5%), Life, Bright, Job (1), Plans (1)

We analyzed instances of convergence and divergence in the associative fields of the stimuli. The first finding is the existence of a universal shared invariable element of language consciousness across languages that contains converging/overlapping semantic features, images and concepts. BRIGHT light (20%) light (13%) (45%); TRUTH lie (25%) lie (25%) (12%); FUTURE time (10%), (10%) time (5%) (3%); DISTANT road ; house ; way . This supports the hypothesis of However our attention is focused on language-specific elements of associative fields because they reflect ethno-cultural national stereotypes and mentality. The stimuli SHADOW, CAPABLE, BRAVE, HOLY had higher degree of compatibility of responses with EAT. The connections with Russian language consciousness appear to be explicitly and/or implicitly present in the majority of responses. PERFECT Husband (cf. RAT: ); PITY 46

Cry, Small, Child, Dogs, (cf. RAT: - , , , , ); DREAM - fantasy, high, , (cf. RAT: , , , ); TRUTH - Clear, Sweet, Ugly, Hard, hurts, (cf. RAT: , , , , , ). Interestingly, the concept of truth is represented differently in English and Russian culture. In Russian it has negative evaluative connotations while in English it has a positive or more neutral emotional colouring (cf. EAT: TRUTH - honesty, good, light, peace, youth, beauty). Negative attitude towards truth is observed only in to associations: anger, unpleasant. The stimulus BRIGHT prompted a response red in our word association experiment. In EAT BRIGHT is associated with yellow while in RAT BRIGHT () is both yellow () and red () with red () being a more frequent response. Several responses to the stimulus INCESSANT revealed implicit connection with Russian ethno-cultural language consciousness. INCESSANT () Constant (RAT: ), Man (RAT: ), Question (RAT: ), Table (RAT: , ), (RAT: ), (RAT: , , , ), Intressant (RAT: ). The response Long to the stimulus SPECULATION is also indicative of a covert connection with typically Russian association (Think) (Long) (the most frequent response). "Long thinking" or a certain "sluggishness, apathy of thought" is a specific feature of Russian ethnic character as contend Kasyanova and Ufimtseva. Compare it with a stereotypical characteristic of thought in English language consciousness: THINK hard. The impact of ethno-cultural national specificity of Russian language consciousness on English word recognition manifests itself through activation of stereotypical verbal associations: FUTURE [" "] light (RAT: ), [" "] (RAT: ); TRUTH [" "] clear, [" "] sweet (opposite), [" "/" "] . These characteristics are markers of Russian national character and Russian mentality which finds its outlet in word associations. This finding is consistent with Zalevskaya's hypothesis that English verbal associations produced by native speakers of Russian that had a formal classroom instruction possess common characteristics with those produced by Russian native monolinguals which indicates the transfer of habits of associating from L1 to L2 (Zalevskaya, 1971). A more likely explanation of the phenomenon of cross-cultural transfer is that verbalized experience is stored in the language consciousness in the language of its acquisition. Stereotypes of usage and set-phrases and collocations receive a significant emphasis. In a number of cases components of Russian ethno-cultural language consciousness were explicit: SHADOW () ; BRAVE () ; HOLY () . The extent to which Russian language consciousness conditions the process of word recognition in English may vary depending on lexical character of stimulus: abstract words that name some meaningful culture-specific concepts or emotions, words that by virtue of their semantics bear a strong subjective sense for the individual were identified via Russian language consciousness (PITY, FUTURE, TRUTH, DREAM). More concrete words that name an object, a feature or a phenomenon were identified mainly through English language consciousness (HOLY, BRAVE, CAPABLE, SHADOW, BRIGHT). As it was said earlier the concept of speculation was recognized incorrectly by a number of students. This case is illustrative of a cross-cultural phenomenon known as zero reference or intercultural lacuna. Conceptual divergence between English Speculation and its Russian counterpart can be attributed to the absence of the following meaning in English language consciousness: "Illegal buy up and resale of real estate, valuables, products for lucrative purposes and figurative meaning: malignant interest, insidious evil intent aimed at using smb. or smth. for mercenary ends". This concept emerged in USSR and is characteristic of Russian cultural space. It has negative connotations of meaning: SPECULATION - Liar, Lie, To deceive, Black, Crime, Theft, Law, , , , , . In English SPECULATION is restricted to stock market professional jargon. Russian social and cultural phenomena and stereotypes manifest themselves in word recognition. 47

In the present study we undertook an investigation of English word-recognition strategies by native speakers of Russian in a classroom setting. We approached the issue from various angles and points of view taking into account all possible variables of the process of word-identification. Variety of forms of representations underlying the word in the human mind and language consciousness individual differences in psyche, thinking, emotional realm (in other words specific perceptual-cognitive-affective inner context), a possibility of applying various identification strategies account for a complex, dynamic, non-linear nature of the process of word-recognition and wordcomprehension (both visual and spoken). In the present research we attempted a holistic approach to the inquiry into word-recognition in speech comprehension. We studied word-processing, lexical access and word recognition within the framework of two most prominent dichotomies in psycholinguistics: "language-thought" and "language-culture" applying strategic, holistic, anthropocentric, interactive, activity theory approaches. We studied conceptions and premises of scholars all over the world specializing in this phenomenon and their research findings. In contemporary psycholinguistics the issue of word processing, lexical access and wordrecognition in speech comprehension in terms of L2 acquisition is one of the most vital and debatable. The process of word identification implies finding an answer to three questions: 1) What lies behind the word in an individual lexicon and is identified as a unity of form and content? 2) What universal perceptual and cognitive mechanisms are involved in the process of word identification as a kind of speech-thought activity? 3) What strategies ensure English word-comprehension? 4) What is the role of L1 (mother-tongue) in L2 word recognition. According to Vygotsky "meaning connects thought and word". Pinker proved that thinking is verbal and non-verbal and consists of visual imagery of varying degree of abstraction, tactile sensations, emotion, kinesthetics, smells, tastes and sounds Taking into consideration the concept of internal (inner) speech of Luria, Zhinkin's Universal Objective Code that says that to acquire a foreign word a learner must be able to understand the objective structure hidden behind it (Zhinkin, 1982) in other words directly connect its phonetic or graphic form to the object of extra-linguistic reality that this word denotes or a concept that it represents. Universal Object Code "serves as a mediator not only between language and thought and between oral and written speech but also between national languages". This code is inherent in all human languages. Chomsky introduced the concept of Universal Grammar which accounted for similarities in all existing languages and LAD (Language Acquisition Device) which is inherent in all the humans. We made use of A. Wierzbicka's theory of Natural Semantic Matelanguage. Based on these conceptions we came to a conclusion that the ultimate target of word-recognition in both listening and reading comprehension is not a meaning but a concept as a mental representation of "sense" of the identified word. The concept encompasses everything that is connected with a word (visual image, connections with other words of the same thematic group. Thoughtprocess or inner speech is verbal and non-verbal and extremely personalized, subjective or egocentric. In this understanding of concept corresponds to "psychological structure of meaning". Taking into account Zalevskaya's theory of mental lexicon as an interactive dynamic functional system a word is identified in all entirety and manifold of associative, conceptual connections with other units. Cognitive components that help to fully comprehend the meaning of the word and recognize it combine perceptual-cognitive-affective context or individual thesaurus (knowledge). The prerequisite condition is involvement of the individual worldview outside of which no comprehension or communication is possible. The fundamental guiding theoretic principle of our research was psycholinguistic theory of word as an individual' acquisition elaborated by Zalevskaya in the 70s which encompasses the conception of word as a means of accessing A Unified Information database and the specifics of individual knowledge. Holographic hypothesis of storing and accessing information allows for interpretation of empirical data and understanding of how various clues and 48

cues interact in the process of word recognition shed light on the mechanisms of introducing the stimulus into the multidimensional system of linkages in the mental lexicon. The process of word recognition can't be investigated without taking into consideration the anthropological aspect, i. e. human interests, motivation and evaluative sphere, mentality, unique background knowledge and inner context of previous experience, conceptual system. In the process of identification a person relies on some functional clues of the word as part of language system, different types of expertise (linguistic knowledge and encyclopaedic knowledge) but it is only owing to the individual's unique system of concepts and inner context that these functional clues exist Viewing word recognition in the frameworks of the dichotomy 'language-culture' we lay emphasis on how language functions in a particular culture and through a particular culture. L2 acquisition is an enormously complex phenomenon and will benefit from a multiplicity of perspectives, theories, and research methodologies. Like other areas of the social sciences, it should and undoubtedly will remain open to a multiplicity of lines of enquiry and, as a result, will continue to be characterized by controversy and debate.

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