Finding a “flower” in a “peanut” is as easy as in a “garden”: towards a lemma-based model of bilingual word recognition

Xin Wang*, Marcus Taft, Jie Wang, Say Young Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study investigates how morphological information is processed and represented in the bilingual lexicon. We employed a masked cross-language morphological priming paradigm to examine morphological decomposition and semantic transparency in bilingual lexical processing. A robust and reliable morphological priming effect was observed for both transparent compounds and opaque compounds, though there was a strong trend for more facilitation in the former than the latter. To account for these results, we propose a lemma-based bilingual model specifying the activation/competition between lemmas during cross-language activation at the morphological level. Our novel findings advance the understanding of interplay between morphology and bilingualism.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2021


  • compound morphology
  • semantic transparency
  • bilingual lexical access
  • Chinese-English bilinguals
  • lemma-based models

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