The strength of meaning
Representations of new words with different properties in the L2 semantic network
In two experiments, we explored the integration of newly learned L2 German lexical units with differing semantic properties into the L2 semantic network. Previous studies (Dagenbach et al., 1990 for L1; Bordag et al., 2016 for L2) have indicated that the access to emergent representations with weak memory traces is supported by a retrieval mechanism that inhibits their semantically related competitors with lower activation thresholds and higher selection potential. In this study used pseudowords as novel L2 items and employed semantic priming and semantic categorization tasks as well as an introspective post-test to explore whether the access to new L2 words is modulated by meaning novelty (Experiment 1) and elaborateness (Experiment 2).
Keywords: mental lexicon, L2 learning, meaning acquisition, semantic inhibition, German
Published online: 10 August 2018
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