[Seminar] Prof. Ton Dijkstra

Event Date: Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 5:30 p.m.

Location: Via Santa Maria, 36, Pisa, PI, Italia [2nd floor seminar room]

Speaker: Prof. Ton Dijkstra (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Title: Multilink: A computational model for bilingual word recognition and word translation

Abstract: The computational BIA+ model (Dijkstra & Van Heuven, 2002) has provided a useful account   for bilingual word recognition, while the verbal (pre-quantitative) RHM (Kroll &Stewart, 1994) has often served as a reference framework for bilingual word production and translation. According to Brysbaert and Duyck (2010), a strong need is felt for a unified implemented account of bilingual word comprehension, lexical-semantic processing, and word production. With this goal in mind, we built a localist connectionist model, called Multilink, that integrates basic assumptions of both BIA+ and RHM. It simulates the recognition and production of cognates (form-similar translation equivalents) and noncognates of different lengths and frequencies in tasks like monolingual and bilingual lexical decision, word naming, and word translation production. It also considers effects of lexical similarity, cognate status, relative L2-proficiency, and translation direction. Model-to-model comparisons show that Multilink provides higher correlations with empirical data than both IA and BIA+ models.

Ton Dijkstra is Professor in Psycholinguistics and Multilingualism at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His research has focussed on understanding monolingual and bilingual language processing through behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuro-imaging studies, and computational modeling. To simulate word recognition processes, he has developed a localist connectionist computational model called Bilingual Interactive Activation Plus (BIA+; in collaboration with Walter Van Heuven and Jonathan Grainger). Recently, the localist framework has been extended into a more general lexical processing model, called Multilink (Dijkstra et al., in press). The new model can be applied to a variety of stimuli and tasks, like cognates in word translation and word naming. In two ongoing research programmes, he is investigating second language acquisition and idiomatic processing in class-room learning situations