The Influence of Vocabulary Size on the Organization of the Second-Language Mental Lexicon
Werff, J.P. van der
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An experiment was conducted investigating the influence of L2 speakers’ vocabulary size on phonological and semantic priming effects in a visual lexical decision task. The aim was to investigate whether the relative effect of phonological priming, compared to semantic priming, would be larger for speakers with smaller vocabularies, as these speakers have fewer semantic connections between words in their mental lexicon. Before the lexical decision task, a LexTALE test for measuring L2 vocabulary size was carried out. The study’s results suggest that phonological priming effects are stronger for speakers with larger L2 vocabularies. Furthermore, the results suggest that semantic priming effects are stronger than phonological priming effects for speakers with smaller L2 vocabularies. Different explanations for the findings are discussed.