Cognates – words which share form and meaning across two languages – have been extensively studied to understand the bilingual mental lexicon. One consistent finding is that bilingual speakers process cognates faster than non-cognates, an effect known as cognate facilitation. Yet, there is no agreement on the underlying factors driving this effect. In this paper, we use computational modeling to test whether the effect can be explained by the cumulative frequency hypothesis. We train a computational language model on two language pairs (Dutch–English, Norwegian–English) under different conditions of input presentation and test it on sentence stimuli from two existing studies with bilingual speakers of those languages. We find that our model can exhibit a cognate effect, lending support to the cumulative frequency hypothesis. Further analyses reveal that thesize of the effect in the model depends on its linguistic accuracy. We interpret our results within the literature on cognate processing.
|Name||Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society|
|Conference||43rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Comparative Cognition: Animal Minds, CogSci 2021|
|Period||26/07/21 → 29/07/21|
- cognate facilitation effect
- cumulative frequency
- language model
- sentence processing