IJSSH 2013 Vol.3(3): 227-231 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2013.V3.233

English Priming Effects on Spatial Decisions in Chinese

L. Suárez, A. B. B. Koh, and D. Zhang
Abstract—This study investigated the priming effects of English prepositions on spatial decisions in Chinese. Participants were English-Chinese bilinguals. One group of participants was exposed to written English sentences (primes) that contained the prepositions on, above, beneath, or below. Immediately after each sentence, an object was shown on the computer screen, and the participant was asked, in Chinese, to place a dot with the cursor either in a superior (shang) or inferior position (xia) with respect to the object. Note that, in Chinese, shang includes on and above, and xia includes beneath and below. The results showed that when the participants were primed with on and beneath, they placed dots closer to the object than when they were primed with above and below. Another group of participants did the same experiment, but the priming sentences were written in Chinese. No priming effects were found. Results for the two experimental groups were compared and discussed.

Index Terms—Bilingualism, cognitive linguistics, language relativity, English, Chinese.

L. Suárez and A. B. B. Koh are with the James Cook University, 600 Upper Thomson Rd, 574421, Singapore (e-mail: lidia.suarez@jcu.edu.au, boonbei.koh@my.jcu.edu.au).
D. Zhang is with the National Institute of Education, 1 Nanyang Walk, 637616 Singapore (e-mail: dongbo.zhang@nie.edu.sg).

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Cite:L. Suárez, A. B. B. Koh, and D. Zhang, "English Priming Effects on Spatial Decisions in Chinese," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 227-231, 2013.

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