This study examines semantic sense and form-meaning connection across the bilingual’s languages as factors behind translation priming asymmetry, which refers to semantic priming between translation equivalents with L1 (first language) primes and L2 (second language) targets, but the lack of it in the reverse direction. In Experiment 1, many-sense L2 words did prime their L1 translations having fewer senses in a lexical decision task, contradicting the usual lack of L2-to-L1 priming. Results of Experiment 2 showed that few-sense L2 items did not prime their many-sense translations, but priming occurred in the reverse direction. In Experiment 3, only single-sense items were used, and priming occurred in the L1-to-L2 but not the L2-to-L1 direction, replicating the usual asymmetry. In Experiment 4, priming occurred in the L1-few-L2-many direction, indicating that form-meaning connection strength plays a role over the semantic sense ratio in this situation. Hence, both the relative number of item senses and item form-meaning connection strength (L1 > L2 by default, with number of senses controlled in Experiment 3) contribute to translation priming asymmetry.
The Psychological Record – Springer Journals
Published: May 23, 2017
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