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postgraduate thesis: Cognate words picture naming in non-alphabetic languages : evidence from Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals

TitleCognate words picture naming in non-alphabetic languages : evidence from Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Yan, X. [晏心]. (2014). Cognate words picture naming in non-alphabetic languages : evidence from Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5328062
AbstractThe majority of previous studies on cognate words have found a robust cognate facilitation effect in picture naming using alphabetic languages. Research has also identified that if the cognates do not share phonology or meaning (i.e., false cognate inhibition effect), this effect may become inhibitory. These mixed findings seem to suggest that semantics, phonology and orthography may contribute differently to cognate word processing. In this thesis, two effects, the phonological overlap effect and the orthographical overlap effect were examined independently for the first time by testing picture naming in two non-alphabetic languages: Cantonese and Mandarin. Two types of cognate words were included: cognate and semi-cognate words. The orthography of both cognate and semi-cognate words is shared between L1 and L2, but only cognate words share phonology. The thesis study included three experiments. In the preparatory experiment, an on-line rating study was conducted, whereby cognate and semi-cognate words with mono-syllabic or bi-syllabic names in Mandarin and Cantonese were rated on word AOA, frequency, picture complexity, familiarity and image agreement. From the preparatory experiments a pictorial-word corpus was selected to use in Experiments 1 and 2. In Experiment 1, Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals named pictures in the corpus in L1 (Cantonese). By contrasting cognate and semi-cognate word naming latency, the results showed a slowed naming latency for cognate words that was marginally significant. It is argued that this finding reflects a possible inhibitory effect from the difference in stages at which competition occurs and the difference in the cognitive load of that competition for cognate and semi-cognate words. In Experiment 2, Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals named the same pictures in L2 (Mandarin), showing a similar trend of cognate inhibition effect as that found in Experiment 1, albeit with a smaller magnitude of cognate inhibition. Taken together, the cognate inhibition effect can be explained by the different stages of cross-language competition that occur for cognate and semi-cognate words in picture naming. The cognitive load of overcoming that competition is larger for cognate than for semi-cognate words.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectCantonese dialects - Cognate words
Bilingualism - China - Hong Kong
Mandarin dialects - Cognate words
Dept/ProgramSpeech and Hearing Sciences
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206739

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorGao, AX-
dc.contributor.advisorWeekes, BS-
dc.contributor.authorYan, Xin-
dc.contributor.author晏心-
dc.date.accessioned2014-11-29T23:16:34Z-
dc.date.available2014-11-29T23:16:34Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationYan, X. [晏心]. (2014). Cognate words picture naming in non-alphabetic languages : evidence from Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5328062-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206739-
dc.description.abstractThe majority of previous studies on cognate words have found a robust cognate facilitation effect in picture naming using alphabetic languages. Research has also identified that if the cognates do not share phonology or meaning (i.e., false cognate inhibition effect), this effect may become inhibitory. These mixed findings seem to suggest that semantics, phonology and orthography may contribute differently to cognate word processing. In this thesis, two effects, the phonological overlap effect and the orthographical overlap effect were examined independently for the first time by testing picture naming in two non-alphabetic languages: Cantonese and Mandarin. Two types of cognate words were included: cognate and semi-cognate words. The orthography of both cognate and semi-cognate words is shared between L1 and L2, but only cognate words share phonology. The thesis study included three experiments. In the preparatory experiment, an on-line rating study was conducted, whereby cognate and semi-cognate words with mono-syllabic or bi-syllabic names in Mandarin and Cantonese were rated on word AOA, frequency, picture complexity, familiarity and image agreement. From the preparatory experiments a pictorial-word corpus was selected to use in Experiments 1 and 2. In Experiment 1, Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals named pictures in the corpus in L1 (Cantonese). By contrasting cognate and semi-cognate word naming latency, the results showed a slowed naming latency for cognate words that was marginally significant. It is argued that this finding reflects a possible inhibitory effect from the difference in stages at which competition occurs and the difference in the cognitive load of that competition for cognate and semi-cognate words. In Experiment 2, Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals named the same pictures in L2 (Mandarin), showing a similar trend of cognate inhibition effect as that found in Experiment 1, albeit with a smaller magnitude of cognate inhibition. Taken together, the cognate inhibition effect can be explained by the different stages of cross-language competition that occur for cognate and semi-cognate words in picture naming. The cognitive load of overcoming that competition is larger for cognate than for semi-cognate words.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshCantonese dialects - Cognate words-
dc.subject.lcshBilingualism - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshMandarin dialects - Cognate words-
dc.titleCognate words picture naming in non-alphabetic languages : evidence from Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5328062-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSpeech and Hearing Sciences-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5328062-

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