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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter on the reading of words by multilinguals considers how retrieving words in two or more languages is affected by the lexical properties of the words, the sentence context in which they occur, and the language to which they belong. Reaction time and event-related potential (ERP) studies are discussed that investigate the processing of cognates, interlingual homographs, and words with different numbers of neighbors, both in isolation and in sentence context. After reviewing different models for multilingual word retrieval, it is concluded that multilingual word recognition involves a language-independent, context-sensitive, and interactive pattern recognition routine, with temporal properties that can be determined not only by “classical” reaction time techniques, but even better by up-to-date research techniques such as eye-tracking and ERP recordings.

Keywords: multilingual, word recognition, cognates, false friends, neighbors, sentence processing, language membership, models

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