Bernd Schmitt

Activating Sound and Meaning in Brand Name Evaluations: The Role of Language Proficiency in Bilinguals' Differential Processing

Coauthor(s): Shi Zhang.

Abstract:
We study linguistic access in a mixed language context by integrating the Bilingual Interactive Activation model and the Language Differential Processing model. We show that highly proficient bilinguals, compared to less proficient bilinguals, activate phonological and semantic representations of the dominant as well as the non-dominant language, and engage in differential processing for different types of scripts (phonetic vs. logographic). For highly proficient bilinguals, language emphasis (Chinese vs. English) results in evaluation judgments that reflect differential processing but for less proficient bilinguals evaluations reflect uniformly semantic processing. We offer theoretical implications on bilingualism, brand naming and communications at levels larger than words, and discuss our findings in relation to the dynamic and malleable view of cross-cultural consumer behavior and decision making.

Source: Journal of Consumer Research
Exact Citation:
Zhang, Shi, and Bernd Schmitt. "Activating Sound and Meaning in Brand Name Evaluations: The Role of Language Proficiency in Bilinguals' Differential Processing." Journal of Consumer Research 31, no. 1 (2004): 220-29.
Volume: 31
Number: 1
Pages: 220-29
Date: 2004