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Cross-language message- and word-level transfer effects in bilingual text processing. The present study examined the nature of the mental representations bilinguals form when reading a text and to what extent they are language specific. English-French bilinguals read five pairs of passages in succession while their eye movements were tracked. Dependent measures were overall reading times on second passages and fixation latencies on target cognates embeddedin second passages. The first passage w as (1) identical tothe second passage in the pair, (2) related in content only (i.e., a translation), (3) related in content and some words (i.e., translation with cognates), (4) related in words only (i.e., different content with the same cognates), or (5) unrelated. There was substantial cross-language facilitation for passages that shared meaning, but the amount of transfer was less than that for identical passages, indicating that memory representations are largely meaning based but do contain some information about surface form. Cross-language transfer for cognates was observed but depended on the skill of the bilinguals in their second language, the direction of transfer, and whether the passages shared meaning. MC