Modelling Lexical Effects With Multilink: Frequency, Cognate Status, And Translation Asymmetry.

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In the present paper, Multilink (Dijkstra & Rekké, 2010) was tested, a computational model of isolated word translation that integrates theoretical notions from the Revised Hierarchical Model (RHM) (Kroll & Stewart, 1994) and the BIA+ model for bilingual word recognition (Dijkstra & Van Heuven, 2002). Simulations were conducted, using the stimulus materials from a word translation production experiment by Pruijn (2015, in collaboration with Peacock). The model’s performance to the reaction times in this experiment was then compared to empirical data from Pruijn and from Christoffels, De Groot, and Kroll (2006). In these experiments, Dutch speakers of English had to translate printed Dutch or English words as accurately and quickly as possible into English or Dutch, respectively. Each input item was a high or low frequency word that could be a cognate or noncognate. Simulations of the experime! ntal data were then analyzed through 4 sets of statistical tests: Spearman's rank correlation, analysis of variance, generalized regression modelling, and divergence testing. The simulations showed a strong cognate effect (cognates are translated faster than noncognates) and a weak frequency effect (high-frequency words are translated faster than low-frequency words). However, the simulation neither exhibited a statistically significant translation direction effect (L1→L2 translation equivalents should be translated faster than L2→L1), nor were certain experimentally-observed interactional effects. Although Multilink did produce translations with a high level of accuracy, the simulated results did not match those of the empirical data in detail. A number of adjustments and modifications of the model will be necessary to obtain better fits between model and experimental data. The findings are interpreted and compared to the predictions made by other theoretical models (RHM, BIA+)! . Suggest ions for future experiments and model adaptations are discussed.
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