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n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - “My pen is in my hand” : ’n ondersoek na die leksikale aktivering in Engels-Afrikaanse algemene tweetaliges, beroepsvertalers en beroepstolke

Volume 59 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751
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Abstract

“My pen is in my hand”: An investigation of lexical activation in English-Afrikaans general bilinguals, professional translators and professional interpreters 

Ample psycholinguistic research has been done into the activation of the mental lexicon of the bilingual person and especially whether this activation is language selective (when only the language in use is activated, whilst the other language is completely deactivated) or language nonselective (when the language not in use is not completely deactivated, but merely inactive).1 Researchers who have studied this phenomenon employed three kinds of words to test their hypotheses, namely interlingual homographs (words with the same form, but different meanings), interlingual cognates (words with the same form and meaning) and interlingual neighbours (words with very similar yet not the exact form, but different meanings). These methodologies typically embed these words in otherwise unilingual sentences (sentences that are grammatically and syntactically possible in only one language). The need has been expressed, however, to use a more natural context.

This article describes the methodology that De Bruin (2018) designed to determine whether language-selective or language-nonselective activation occurs in general (non-professional) bilinguals, professional translators and professional interpreters. To achieve this, the methodology employs two of these word types, namely interlingual homographs and interlingual cognates, but extends these to sentence level, i.e. interlingual homographic sentences and interlingual cognate sentences in Afrikaans and English. In the former, the sentences have the same form and order in both languages, but they differ in meaning; in the latter, the sentences display the same word order, form and meaning in both languages. In this way, De Bruin (2018) attempts to enrich the research context from a word to a sentence level, i.e. from lexeme to sentence level, thereby satisfying the need for a more natural context.

De Bruin (2018) stel ’n unieke metodologie voor om te bepaal of tweetalige persone ’n taalselektiewe of taalnieselektiewe aktiveringsproses van die mentale leksikon ondergaan. Dié metodologie, wat die fokus van hierdie artikel is, verskil in twee belangrike opsigte van vorige metodologieë wat taalaktivering in tweetaliges ondersoek.2 In die eerste plek verryk dit die navorsingskonteks van lekseemvlak (woordvlak) na ’n hoër tekstuele vlak in ’n poging om aan die geïdentifiseerde behoefte in die psigolinguistiek vir ’n meer natuurlike navorsingskonteks te voldoen. Tweedens is dit na die navorsers se wete die eerste studie van sy soort wat tussen verskillende tipes tweetaliges onderskei, te wete algemene tweetaliges, beroepsvertalers en beroepstolke. Om die drie tipes tweetaliges doeltreffend af te baken, word streng kwalifiseringsvereistes aan respondente van die onderskeie groepe gestel. In die studie word volledige, intertalige homograaf- en kognaatsinne gebruik, vergeleke met vorige navorsing wat intertalige homograwe en kognate in andersins eentalige sinne gebruik.3 Die bevindinge van die studie dui op taalnieselektiewe aktivering van die mentale leksikon, en dat beroepsvertalers en beroepstolke moontlik ’n hoër mate van taalnieselektiewe aktivering as algemene tweetaliges ondergaan.

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/content/journal/10520/EJC-166a73c30c
2019-06-01
2019-10-15

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