Priming bicultural bilingual Latino-Americans as Latino or American modulates access to the Spanish and English meaning of interlingual homographs

Abstract

Using Spanish-English bilingual Latino-Americans, this study tested whether priming Latino or American cultural representations facilitated the accessibility of the Spanish meaning or English meaning of Spanish-English homographs. Seventy-four participants were randomly assigned to a Latino prime, American prime, or no prime condition. After being primed, subjects performed an English lexical decision task wherein they indicated whether a letter string formed an English word. Homographs, English controls, and non-words were included in the array. As predicted, there was a significant prime condition by word type interaction, F(2, 70)= 5.48, p= .006, partial eta squared = .136, suggesting that prime condition modulated reaction times to homographs. Planned contrasts showed that participants in the Latino prime condition had slower reaction times to homographs than English controls, F(1, 22)= 4.84, p= .039, partial eta squared = .180, suggesting that the Latino prime facilitated access to homographs’ Spanish meaning.


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