Orthography plays a critical role in cognate priming: evidence from French/English and Arabic/French cognates.

Abstract

A series of three experiments was carried out in order to better characterize the representations that support long-term cognate priming. In Experiment 1, robust priming was obtained between orthographically similar French/English cognates in bilingual speakers, and this priming was mediated, in part, by orthographic codes, given that priming for these items was dramatically reduced following a study-test modality shift. In Experiment 2, no priming was obtained between the same set of French/English cognates in monolingual English speakers. Finally, in Experiment 3, priming for orthographically unrelated Arabic/French cognates was no larger than cross-modal priming, suggesting that these effects were mediated by nonorthographic representations. The role of orthography in supporting cognate priming is discussed.

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