Second Language Word Processing Abilities of Kurdish-Persian Bilinguals

Elahe Kamari, Shahram Jamali Nesari


The present study investigates the applicability of word association model to the second language word processing abilities of Kurdish learners of Persian. The aim of this study was to examine whether beginning L2 learners use their L1 as a mediating tool to process L2 words, or whether pictures representing pre-existing concepts facilitate L2 word processing. 10 Kurdish-Persian bilingual adults at the beginning stages of learning Persian were compared with 10 native speakers of Persian who were fluent in Kurdish. Participants in two groups performed a translation-recognition task. They had to decide whether words in two languages were translation equivalents. They were also compared in a picture recognition task in order to compare the reaction times (RTs) of L1-L2 and picture-L2.The findings showed that Kurdish- Persian bilinguals performed faster in L1-L2 than in picture-L2 but the performance of Persian- Kurdish bilinguals were comparable on both L1-L2 and picture-L2, predicted by the word association model. These results suggested that L1 and pictures have different effects on the word processing abilities of bilinguals.



Bilingualism, processing, translation, word association model low

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