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Effect of Emotional Valence, Frequency and Gender on L2 Word Recognition Time: An Eye Tracking Study
Type of Research Article
emotional words, eye tracking, frequency, gender, lexical processing, valence
Emotional words are assumed to have a processing advantage over neutral words due to their emotional content. Meanwhile, this advantage depends on other word features such as frequency and the characteristics of the processor and context of learning. Accordingly, the current study investigated the simultaneous impacts of L2 words‟ emotional valence and frequency, and L2 user‟s gender on word recognition time in a natural reading context. 43 intermediate EFL learners read 36 sentences in a coherent text for comprehension while their eye movements were recorded by eye-tracker. The findings revealed that participants processed the positive, negative, and neutral words identically based on eye fixation time. However, the frequency effect was attained for both valenced and neutral words. Also, no significant gender differences were approved in terms of recognition time though male participants tended to process all word types slightly faster than female ones. The lack of processing difference between valenced and neutral words is attributed to the disembodiment of L2 emotional words and learning experience of the participants as late EFL learners. These learners have been deprived of affective socialization and the affective sensory experience in their development of L2 emotional words. The absence of valence/frequency interaction is attributed to the L1/L2 relationship in terms of the target words. Although witnessed gender effect did not reach a significance level, it is suggested that the processing of emotional words be viewed in a ultidimensional framework where the characteristics of the word, the processor, and the learning context are taken into account.
Researchers Davoud Amini (First Researcher)، (Second Researcher)، Kazem Pouralvar (Third Researcher)