The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology vol:61 issue:9 pages:1281-1290
An important question in research about bilingualism is whether translation from a second language (L2) to the native language (L1) is semantically mediated or whether it occurs through word associations at the lexical level. Recent research has shown that both L1 and L2 number word
translation imply semantic access, suggesting strong L2 lexicosemantic mappings for number words (Duyck & Brysbaert, 2004). In the present study, this assumption was further explored by means of a cross-lingual number distance priming paradigm with Dutch-English-French trilinguals. We found that number word translation from L1 to L3, and vice versa, was facilitated by L2 number masked word primes that represented the same magnitude as the target (translation equivalents), relative to primes that are numerically less close. This confirms the existence of strong L2 lexicosemantic mappings for number words, and generalises previous semantic effects in L1-L2 translation to translation processes between L1 and L3.