Cross-Linguistic Structural Priming on the Lexico-Syntactic Representations of Cebuano-English Bilinguals


March 16, 2023


The effect of previously processed grammatical structure on its subsequent production is referred to as structural priming to explore syntax representations in bilingual brains. This psycholinguistic inquiry investigated the active-passive alternation syntactic category and whether bilingual representations of the first language (Cebuano) and second language (English) are more integrated considering the L2 proficiency. This study conducted two structural priming experiments on 60 Cebuano-English bilinguals from a randomized population exposed to a prime type with verb type manipulation. Research subjects formed their responses concerning the target response drawings. Responses were classified as active, passive, and other to assess priming effects. Additionally, this study followed the mixed between-and-within-subjects design. Priming effects were established in the two studies using the mixed-effects logistic regression analysis. Cross-linguistic priming was found in Study 1 (English to Cebuano) in both verb types with a p-value of (< .001). However, cross-linguistic priming was not found in Study 2 (Cebuano to English) in both verb types with a p-value of (0.242). Active utterances were profound in both studies rather than passive structures. The L2 proficiency of the research subjects was statistically significant in Study 1 and not significant in Study 2. This further means that second language proficiency affects Cebuano language production more than English. With the greater likelihood of active utterances, research subjects have not integrated the syntax of both languages, mainly attributed to different language experiences, constituent word order, and unbalanced bilingual proficiency capabilities.