Exploration and Testing of the Multilink Model: Simulating the Word Translation Process

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In the field of language, word translation is a particular interesting process that comprises multiple complex processes such as word recognition, meaning retrieval and word production. To learn the underlying processes in word translation in bilinguals and explain the seeming contradicting and ambiguous empirical results in this field, this study uses a computational mode, Multilink, to simulate the word translation process. This study used the stimulus material of Christoffels et al. (Christoffels, De Groot, & Kroll, 2006) and manipulated four variables: (1) translation direction (from L1 to L2 vs. from L2 to L1), (2) L2 proficiency, (3) frequency effects (high frequent words vs. low frequent words), and (4) cognate status. Language direction and cognate status seemed to may be causal factors. Complete cognate translation equivalents and false friends in the stimulus material showed to have a major influence on the mean translation times, and also leading to large language direction effects. Furthermore, erroneous translations from non-cognates showed that the direct link between orthography and phonology, as assumed in the Revised Hierarchical Model, only leads to more problems and mistranslation.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen