Is there a lexical switching mechanism between English and Japanese?
The study examined the speed of word classification when lexical switching between English and Japanese was required. Thirty four university students participated in the experiment (17 each of high and low English proficiency). After the tasks (stimuli) were presented in a Japanese or an English sentence such as 'Is ( ) an animal?', a target word in Japanese or English (e.g., 'cat') was shown on the screen. The results showed latencies in classification tasks were significantly shorter when questions and target words were presented in Japanese rather than in English, indicating the relative proficiency level of the subjects' weaker language. Although the mean latencies were shorter when the sentences and the target words were presented unilingually rather than in mixed languages, the difference was not significant. Thus, the results did not favor the existence of an input switch.
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