The current study investigated how emotions are represented in the lexicon of late Thai–English bilinguals and a comparison group of native English speakers. Two tasks were used. In the emotional Stroop task, which taps into an automatic early lexical level of processing, the bilingual participants did not display the same automatic level of activation in their second language (L2) as in their first language (L1). In the emotionality-rating task, which involves a later, more in-depth conscious level of processing than the preceding task, similar results were found in both languages spoken by the bilinguals. These findings are interpreted as indicating that late bilinguals do not automatically respond to the emotional arousal associated with the meanings of L2 words to the same extent as in the L1, and this is likely to be mediated by language proficiency and the context in which the language is learned.
Winskel, H 2013, 'The emotional Stroop task and emotionality rating of negative and neutral words in late Thai–English bilinguals', International Journal of Psychology, vol. 48, no. 6, pp. 1090-1098.
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