ProjectRCKM – Identifying processing principles in bilingual complex word reading: Discriminative learning modeling and…

Basic data

Identifying processing principles in bilingual complex word reading: Discriminative learning modeling and eye-fixation-related potential technique
4/1/2015 to 3/31/2017
Abstract / short description:
Reading plays an important role in our daily life. Every day, we have to crack written codes rapidly to extract a great amount of information, from newspapers and e-mails to shop advertisements and movie subtitles. In today's globalized world, it is equally crucial to read as efficiently in a second (foreign) language. With this global need, it is consequently important to understand how second language words are represented and processed in the mind, as well as how they should be acquired. However, as of today, there is still no general model for reading. Models of word recognition have largely been motivated by studies with limited characteristics, in majority investigating monolingual readers of English reading English words, in the context of a lexical decision task, with response times as the primary dependent variable (Libben & Jarema, 2002). In this research,

Koji Miwa will investigate how English complex words are processed by non-native German-English readers. Although most models of reading concern structurally simple words (e.g., board), an examination of a large lexical database (Balota et al., 2007) reveals that roughly 70% of words are structurally complex (e.g., blackboard, boarder). Particularly, compounding is considered to be the most fundamental word formation process for children and even primates (Clark, 1993; Libben, 2006). Yet, it has seldom been investigated how compounds are processed by non-native readers. Since languages differ in formal aspects of complex word formation (e.g., see Thomas, 2012 for an empirical study reporting that German compounds are perceived to be more phrase-like than English compounds), compounding serves as a useful tool to investigate how characteristics of different languages are represented and processed in bilinguals’ mind.
naive discriminative learning
German-English bilinguals
second language acquisition
compound words
eye-fixation-relatd potential

Involved staff


Institute of Linguistics (SfS)
Department of Modern Languages, Faculty of Humanities

Local organizational units

Institute of Linguistics (SfS)
Department of Modern Languages
Faculty of Humanities


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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