Bilingual Mental Lexicon and Collocational Processing

Bilingual Mental Lexicon and Collocational Processing

Hakan Cangır (Ankara University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4009-0.ch011


The chapter starts with a definition and models of mental dictionary. It then builds on the bilingual lexical activation models and goes on to discuss formulaic language (collocations in particular). After explaining the basics of formulaic language processing, the author attempts to address the issue of lexical and collocational priming theory by Hoey, which has its roots in cognitive linguistics and usage-based language models. Last but not least, some suggestions for future research are provided in an attempt to address the needs of the lexical research literature in the Turkish setting.
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The notion of monolingual and bilingual mental lexicon has intrigued linguists who are interested in cognitive aspects of language processing and psycholinguistics, in particular, for a long time. There have been controversial issues in the literature regarding how the lexicon is organized, if bilinguals have two separate lexicons, and whether both languages of the bilinguals compete for lexical selection during lexical processing etc. Those who have conducted research exploring lexical processing to model the monolingual and bilingual mental lexicons appear to have concentrated on single lexical units only. Although the processing of formulaic expressions has been investigated in many studies, few or almost none of them, to the writer’s knowledge, seem to scrutinize cross-linguistic influence and its reflection on the structuring of mental lexicon. Furthermore, while studies exploring collocational processing in English seem to be abound, research investigating the case in a morphologically different language (i.e. Turkish) appears to be lacking. With these controversies and unanswered questions in mind, the chapter attempts to shed light on the monolingual and bilingual mental lexicon models proposed so far, draw the attention of the readers to the processing of formulaic expressions (collocations in particular) and question their possible influence on the organization of the internal lexicon. To this end, this chapter addresses monolingual lexicon models, bilingual mental lexicon models, formulaic language, collocations, and collocational priming, respectively in an attempt to raise awareness about the need to explore cross-linguistic collocational priming, searching for a collocational spreading activation framework at a cross-linguistic level, if any.

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