Article

When bilinguals choose a single word to speak: Electrophysiological evidence for inhibition of the native language

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Abstract

Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures are reported for a study in which relatively proficient Chinese-English bilinguals named identical pictures in each of their two languages. Production occurred only in Chinese (the first language, L1) or only in English (the second language, L2) in a given block with the order counterbalanced across participants. The repetition of pictures across blocks was expected to produce facilitation in the form of faster responses and more positive ERPs. However, we hypothesized that if both languages are activated when naming one language alone, there might be evidence of inhibition of the stronger L1 to enable naming in the weaker L2. Behavioral data revealed the dominance of Chinese relative to English, with overall faster and more accurate naming performance in L1 than L2. However, reaction times for naming in L1 after naming in L2 showed no repetition advantage and the ERP data showed greater negativity when pictures were named in L1 following L2. This greater negativity for repeated items suggests the presence of inhibition rather than facilitation alone. Critically, the asymmetric negativity associated with the L1 when it followed the L2 endured beyond the immediate switch of language, implying long-lasting inhibition of the L1. In contrast, when L2 naming followed L1, both behavioral and ERP evidence produced a facilitatory pattern, consistent with repetition priming. Taken together, the results support a model of bilingual lexical production in which candidates in both languages compete for selection, with inhibition of the more dominant L1 when planning speech in the less dominant L2. We discuss the implications for modeling the scope and time course of inhibitory processes.

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... Our paper explores engagement of language control as a function of individual differences in activation levels of the native language (L1) and the second language (L2). The methodological approach adopted both here and in previous studies is based on the assumption that involvement of language control can be inferred indirectly via assessment of its side effects (Branzi, Martin, Abutalebi, & Costa, 2014;Costa & Santesteban, 2004;Declerck, Thoma, Koch, & Philipp, 2015;Declerck & Philipp, 2018;Declerck et al., 2020;Degani, Kreiner, Ataria, & Khateeb, 2020;Guo, Liu, Chen, & Li, 2013;Misra et al., 2012;Schwieter & Sunderman, 2008;Van Assche et al., 2013;Wodniecka, Szewczyk, Kałamała, Mandera, & Durlik, 2020). In this vein, the increased difficulty in L1 lexical access following the use of L2 (hereafter the "L2 aftereffect") has been interpreted as a consequence of engagement of control during or after L2 use. ...
... The L2 after-effect can be measured in a blocked picture-naming paradigm by comparing the processing costs of production in the native (or stronger) language when it follows longer (blocked) production in a second (or a weaker) language (e.g., Branzi et al., 2014;Wodniecka et al., 2020;see Branzi, Della Rosa, Canini, Costa, & Abutalebi, 2016 for fMRI evidence). In this paradigm, participants have to name pictures in either L1 or L2, and the language of naming changes between blocks ( Branzi et al., 2014;Misra et al. 2012;Wodniecka et al., 2020). For instance, in a recent study by Wodniecka et al. (2020), Polish (L1) learners of English (L2) named pictures in L1 following the naming of pictures in either L1 or L2. ...
... Finally, our results bring some new insights into the time-course of L2 after-effects. Previous studies showed that the effect is relatively long lasting (Branzi et al., 2014;Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012;Wodniecka et al., 2020): it was observed even after approximately 5 min (Branzi et al., 2014;Wodniecka et al., 2020) or up to two blocks of naming in L1 (Misra et al., 2012) after L2 use. This suggests that activation of L1 lemmas remains low for quite some time after a bilingual speaker returns to using her L1. ...
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After naming pictures in their second language (L2), bilinguals experience difficulty in naming pictures in their native language (L1). This phenomenon, the “L2 after-effect”, is a lingering consequence of language control mechanisms regulating the activation of L1 and L2 to facilitate L2 production. Building on the Inhibitory Control model proposed by Green (1998), we propose that how much language control is applied depends on the relative balance between the current activation of L1 and L2. In two experiments, Polish-English bilinguals immersed in their L1 performed a blocked picture-naming task. This paradigm provided a continuous measure of the relative balance between the two languages and made it possible to index engagement of control by measuring the L2 after-effect. The results indicate that the higher the activation level of L1 and the lower the activation level of L2, the bigger the L2 after-effect. The results also revealed an enduring down-regulation of L1 activation level in more language-balanced speakers.
... Words in the no-interference condition, which were not retrieved in English and hence did not need to be inhibited in Spanish, should consequently be easier to retrieve and experience less interference from English competitors at final test than items that were interfered with, which explains why the former were recalled faster and more accurately than the latter. Between-language competition effects had previously mostly been established between L1 and L2 and short-term, that is, in experimental designs that document these effects within individual (or pairs of) trials (i.e., immediately rather than after a delay; though see Branzi et al., 2014;Misra et al., 2012). The results from Mickan and colleagues suggest that between-language competition also unfolds between two foreign languages (as well as between L1 and L3) and that it can have long-term ramifications. ...
... First of all, traditional language switching studies test for inhibition on a global, whole-language level rather than locally on the item level: they ask what naming a picture in, for example, L1 does to subsequent naming of any other picture in L2, rather than to naming of its L2 translation equivalent. Moreover, they observe the effects of language switching from one trial to the next, but not their potential long-term effects (though see Branzi et al., 2014;Misra et al., 2012;Wodniecka et al., 2020; reviewed in detail in the discussion section). It remains to be seen whether the sustained, local interference/inhibition effects underlying foreign language attrition are reflected in the same N2 modulation as the short-lived, global effects in mixed-language switching studies. ...
... Local interference effects have only rarely been documented. In fact, studies looking at item-specific interference effects have sometimes reported the opposite, namely translation facilitation (e.g., Branzi et al., 2014;Misra et al., 2012;Wodniecka et al., 2020). ...
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Foreign language attrition (FLA) appears to be driven by interference from other, more recently-used languages (Mickan et al., 2020). Here we tracked these interference dynamics electrophysiologically to further our understanding of the underlying processes. Twenty-seven Dutch native speakers learned 70 new Italian words over two days. On a third day, EEG was recorded as they performed naming tasks on half of these words in English and, finally, as their memory for all the Italian words was tested in a picture-naming task. Replicating Mickan et al., recall was slower and tended to be less complete for Italian words that were interfered with (i.e., named in English) than for words that were not. These behavioral interference effects were accompanied by an enhanced frontal N2 and a decreased late positivity (LPC) for interfered compared to not-interfered items. Moreover, interfered items elicited more theta power. We also found an increased N2 during the interference phase for items that participants were later slower to retrieve in Italian. We interpret the N2 and theta effects as markers of interference, in line with the idea that Italian retrieval at final test is hampered by competition from recently practiced English translations. The LPC, in turn, reflects the consequences of interference: the reduced accessibility of interfered Italian labels. Finally, that retrieval ease at final test was related to the degree of interference during previous English retrieval shows that FLA is already set in motion during the interference phase, and hence can be the direct consequence of using other languages.
... Recent evidence suggests that even if performance in each language is blocked, the shift from one language to the other, on the order of minutes, hinders performance (e.g., Guo, Liu, Misra, & Kroll, 2011;Kreiner & Degani, 2015;Mercier, Pivneva, & Titone, 2016;Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012;Van Assche, Duyck, & Gollan, 2013). For instance, in a picture naming study, Kreiner and Degani (2015) observed higher tip-of-the-tongue rates for bilinguals in L2 following a 10 minute movie in L1. ...
... For instance, in a picture naming study, Kreiner and Degani (2015) observed higher tip-of-the-tongue rates for bilinguals in L2 following a 10 minute movie in L1. Other studies similarly show that bilinguals' production performance in L1 is hindered following a production block in L2 (Guo et al., 2011;Misra et al., 2012;Van Assche et al., 2013). This body of literature corroborates the assertion that the language context preceding the target task is important and should be considered (e.g., Grosjean, 2001;Wu & Thierry, 2010). ...
... Consequently, if bilinguals are tested in both of their languages in the same session, the order of languages is likely to influence the findings. For instance, bilinguals' lexical retrieval performance is expected to be better in L1, when the L1 task precedes its equivalent in the L2 (Misra et al., 2012). Moreover, it is not clear whether L1 and L2 are similarly affected by language context, and thus in addition to counterbalancing language order, it may be advisable to explicitly examine the influence of language order on performance in each language. ...
... Bilinguals experience additional challenges in resolving lexical competition relative to monolinguals, as the two languages are activated in parallel and compete for selection (for reviews, see Costa, 2005;Kroll, Bobb, Misra & Guo, 2008;Kroll & Gollan, 2014), regardless of whether bilinguals speak (e.g., Colomé & Miozzo, 2010;Costa, Caramazza & Sebastian-Galles, 2000;Hoshino & Kroll, 2008) or hear (e.g., Canseco-Gonzalez et al., 2010;Lagrou, Hartsuiker & Duyck, 2011;Marian & Spivey, 2003b) one language alone. Since bilinguals cannot "switch off" the unintended language (Colomé & Miozzo, 2010;Hoshino & Kroll, 2008;Lagrou et al., 2011;Martín, Macizo & Bajo, 2010), they must resolve conflict from competing cross-linguistic responses (e.g., Meuter & Allport, 1999;Misra, Guo, Bobb & Kroll, 2012) in addition to the within-language competition experienced by monolingual speakers of each of the two languages (e.g., Marian & Spivey, 2003a). Available data suggest a possible involvement of a domain-general mechanism in the resolution of lexical competition (Green, 1998). ...
... Experiment 2 investigated whether individual differences in L2 production fluency (i.e., performance on L2 discourse, semantic and phonemic fluency tasks) and cognitive control (i.e., Simon task performance) among native English L2 learners were associated with variation in competition resolution dynamics in L1 spoken word recognition. Fluent L2 speech production has also Mona Roxana Botezatu et al. been linked to efficient suppression of co-activated competitors from the irrelevant (native) language Linck et al., 2009;Meuter & Allport, 1999;Misra et al., 2012;Philipp, Gade & Koch, 2007) and engagement inhibitory control processes (Bialystok et al., 2008;Korko & Williams, 2017;Luo et al., 2010;Pivneva et al., 2012;Suarez et al., 2014). The resolution of lexical competition during L1 spoken word recognition is potentially complicated by L2 proficiency, as L2 learners must suppress temporarily co-activated competitors from both languages Spivey & Marian, 1999). ...
... Phonemic fluency was assessed in Spanish (P, M or R), but not in Chinese due to no agreed-upon equivalent measure. Learners were tested in the L1 first and L2 last to avoid L1 inhibition following L2 performance (Levy, McVeigh, Marful & Anderson, 2007;Misra et al., 2012). ...
Article
We investigated whether fluent language production is associated with greater skill in resolving lexical competition during spoken word recognition and ignoring irrelevant information in non-linguistic tasks. Native English monolinguals and native English L2 learners, who varied on measures of discourse/verbal fluency and cognitive control, identified spoken English words from dense (e.g., BAG) and sparse (e.g., BALL) phonological neighborhoods in moderate noise. Participants were slower in recognizing spoken words from denser neighborhoods. The inhibitory effect of phonological neighborhood density was smaller for English monolinguals and L2 learners with higher speech production fluency, but was unrelated to cognitive control as indexed by performance on the Simon task. Converging evidence from within-language effects in monolinguals and cross-language effects in L2 learners suggests that fluent language production involves a competitive selection process that may not engage all domain-general control mechanisms. Results suggest that language experience may capture individual variation in lexical competition resolution.
... Baus, Costa, & Carreiras, 2013;Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009) and in the laboratory (e.g. Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012; Van Assche, Duyck, & Gollan, 2013). Linck et al. examined the consequence of L2 immersion on intermediate learners of Spanish who were native English-speaking university students studying abroad in Spain. ...
... Meuter & Allport, 1999) to multiple utterances in blocked naming paradigms (e.g. Misra et al., 2012;Van Assche et al., 2013). If the suppression of the L1 that has been found under conditions of language immersion reflects a passive 3. We use the term language regulation to differentiate the control of language processes from domain general control. ...
... Notably, these effects appear to be robust and have been reported in behavioral measures of reaction time and accuracy (Van Assche et al., 2013), in the earliest moments of planning speech in the ERP record (e.g. Misra et al., 2012), and in brain activation revealed by imaging studies (e.g. Guo, Liu, Misra, & Kroll, 2011). ...
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A goal of early research on language processing was to characterize what is universal about language. Much of the past research focused on native speakers because the native language has been considered as providing privileged truths about acquisition, comprehension, and production. Populations or circumstances that deviated from these idealized norms were of interest but not regarded as essential to our understanding of language. In the past two decades, there has been a marked change in our understanding of how variation in language experience may inform the central and enduring questions about language. There is now evidence for significant plasticity in language learning beyond early childhood, and variation in language experience has been shown to influence both language learning and processing. In this paper, we feature what we take to be the most exciting recent new discoveries suggesting that variation in language experience provides a lens into the linguistic, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that enable language processing.
... Most evidence supports reversed dominance as affecting an entire language, most often the dominant one (Declerck, 2020). For example, evidence for global control of the dominant language is found in blocked language-order effects in behavioral and Event-Related Potentials (ERP) studies (e.g., Branzi et al., 2014;Kreiner & Degani, 2015;Misra et al., 2012;Van Assche et al., 2013;Wodniecka et al., 2020). In these studies, bilinguals are tested in just one language at a time but may exhibit order effects after previously completing a task in the other language. ...
... Importantly, assignment of specific pictures to each list was counterbalanced between participants, and thus this effect was not an artifact of item assignment to list condition. This apparent transfer of inhibitory control of the dominant language to novel items suggests that inhibition operates at a whole-language level, and the cognitive mechanism underlying this transfer effect may also cause block order effects (Christoffels et al., 2016;Wodniecka et al., 2020), which sometimes were found in brain response measures (ERPs) but not in behavioral responses (e.g., Misra et al., 2012;but see Branzi et al., 2014). The experimental manipulation applied here may be more powerful for revealing the effects of global language control because of the interleaving of List A items when List B was presented, and because language mixing was interrupted only very briefly by short single-language blocks (see Table 2, Block Z). ...
... First, if dominance reversal exclusively reflected global inhibition, it should have been equal for List A and List B items. We speculate that, contrary to what prior research led us to predict, extensive repetition of List A items may have weakened, rather than strengthened, dominance reversal (for similar arguments see Misra et al., 2012). Note that by the time participants encountered List B items they already had extensive practice with language switching and had time for global inhibition to accumulate-but the relatively larger effect on List B suggests that extensive repetition of List A items served to offset instead of magnify lexical-level competition for selection between languages and reactive inhibition between translation equivalents. ...
Article
Inhibitory control is thought to play a key role in how bilinguals switch languages and may decline in aging. We tested these hypotheses by examining age group differences in the reversed language dominance effect—a signature of inhibition of the dominant language that leads bilinguals to name pictures more slowly in the dominant than the nondominant language in mixed-language testing blocks. Twenty-five older and 48 younger Spanish–English bilinguals completed a cued language-switching task. To test if inhibition is applied at the whole-language or lexical level, we first presented one set of pictures repeatedly, then introduced a second list halfway through the experiment. Younger bilinguals exhibited significantly greater reversed language dominance effects than older bilinguals (who exhibited nonsignificant language dominance effects). In younger bilinguals, dominance reversal transferred to, and was even larger in, the second list (compared to the first). The latter result may suggest that inhibition is partially offset by repetition in ways that are not yet fully understood. More generally, these results support the hypotheses that aging impairs inhibitory control of the dominant language, which young bilinguals rely on to switch languages. Additionally, inhibition is applied primarily at the whole-language level, and speculatively, this form of language control may be analogous to nonlinguistic proactive control.
... As can be seen in Table 3 (see also (Branzi et al., 2014;Degani et al., 2020;Guo et al., 2011;Kreiner & Degani, 2015;Misra et al., 2012;Van Assche et al., 2013;Wodniecka, Szewczyk et al., 2020; for an overview, see Declerck, 2020;Wodniecka, Casado et al., 2020). Because the number of blocked language order studies is still limited, it is not clear yet to what degree the blocked language order effect is replicable. ...
... For example, the blocked language order effect is mainly observed in L1 (i.e., when a single L1 block is preceded by a single L2 block), whereas this is not always the case for L2 (Branzi et al., 2013;Van Assche et al., 2013;however, see Kreiner & Degani, 2015). Moreover, the blocked language order effect is typically not observed when the same stimuli are used across the single language blocks (Branzi et al., 2013;Misra et al., 2012). That is, the blocked language order effect has been demonstrated with non-repeating stimuli, but a reversed, facilitatory effect has been observed with repeating stimuli across blocks, which has been explained with positive stimulus repetition priming that counteract the influence of language inhibition (e.g., Misra et al., 2012). ...
... Moreover, the blocked language order effect is typically not observed when the same stimuli are used across the single language blocks (Branzi et al., 2013;Misra et al., 2012). That is, the blocked language order effect has been demonstrated with non-repeating stimuli, but a reversed, facilitatory effect has been observed with repeating stimuli across blocks, which has been explained with positive stimulus repetition priming that counteract the influence of language inhibition (e.g., Misra et al., 2012). Table 3. Overview of blocked language order studies with a focus on the blocked language order effect relative to language (L1 and L2) and whether the stimuli were new or repeated. ...
Article
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To achieve fluent language processing as a bilingual, a dominant theoretical framework assumes that the nontarget language is inhibited. This assumption is based on several empirical effects that are typically explained with inhibitory control. In the current article, we discuss four prominent effects linked to bilingual inhibition in language production (i.e., asymmetrical switch costs, n-2 language repetition costs, reversed language dominance, and the blocked language order effect). We argue that these effects require more empirical examination in order to arrive at a firmer basis for the assumption that inhibition plays a major role during bilingual language control. In particular, the empirical replicability of the phenomena themselves needs to be established more firmly, the underlying theoretical assumptions need further examination, and the alternative explanations of the empirical effects need to be scrutinized. In turn, we conclude that inhibitory control may provide a coherent framework for bilingual language production while outlining the challenges that the inhibition account still needs to face. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... acquisition (Weissberger et al., 2015). Another issue is the widespread use of self-assessment test and the lack of objective measurements to test language proficiency (Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012) even though it has already been stated that the correlations between selfassessment and formal tests for language proficiency are generally low (de Bot, 2008). In addition, some studies focused their attention only on the assessment of the L2 and not on the native one, forgetting that the mother tongue is not always the best well-known or the dominant language. ...
... It is known that when a bilingual intends to speak one language, alternatives in both languages are activated (Costa et al., 1999;Hermans et al., 1998;Kroll, Bobb, & Wodniecka, 2006) and for this reason, a higher rate of errors is expected in combination of higher response latencies when using the less dominant language. This effect has been interpreted as an effect of execution of a more difficult task due to the dominance of one language over another (Misra et al., 2012). But in our study, no difference was found in terms of response latencies and this result is consistent with the functional activations observed for naming in L1 and L2. ...
... Moreover, it has been said that few bilinguals are truly balanced, and even when high proficiency is achieved, late bilinguals remain dominant in one language, i.e. L1 (Misra et al., 2012). Hence, even if symmetrical switch cost is observed, naming in L1 is often slower than in L2, suggesting that the L1 is indeed inhibited under mixed language condition (Kroll, Bobb, Misra, & Guo, 2008). ...
Thesis
It is estimated that more than half of the world's population speaks two languages and that 40% of the population uses both languages on a daily basis. Psycholinguists and neuropsycholinguists became interested early in the way in which two languages could share a single brain. They have therefore been interested in the representation of several languages in the bilingual brain, in the sensitive period during which languages are learned and also in the mechanisms that allow bilinguals to switch from one language to another without apparent effort. In this work, we investigated the role of the age of acquisition and proficiency of languages and the influence of two languages a) on the representation of cerebral substrates of two languages, b) on the cerebral plasticity, c) and on the mechanisms of language control. For this purpose, we compare early bilingual speakers, who learned both languages before the age of 3 years, and late bilingual speakers who learned the second language after 10 years, both of whom had a very good level of proficiency in both languages. Participants were assessed in a wide range of linguistic and non-linguistic tasks to measure language level and executive functioning. Using the functional magnetic resonance imaging technique, we were able to identify the neuronal substrates of the two languages for each group and the areas involved in language control, as well as cerebral changes due to the early learning of two languages. In general, the results show that language proficiency, rather than the age of acquisition, has an essential role on the representation of languages, but that the age of acquisition is decisive in regards of cerebral structure of certain areas related to language.
... In the present study, it was also found that unbalanced bilinguals were slower when naming pictures in L1 relative to L2, indicating a reversed language domaince effect. The result is consistent with previous studies (e.g., Costa & Santesteban, 2004;Gollan et al., 2014;Gollan & Ferreira, 2009;Kleinman & Gollan, 2018;Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012). Compared with switching costs, the reversed language dominance effect may reflect the global level of language control in mixed language context, i.e. stronger inhibition of the dominant language in order to prevent conflicts (e.g., Bobb & Wodniecka, 2013;Kleinman & Gollan, 2018;Kroll et al., 2006;Wu et al., 2018). ...
... Furthermore, we found the reversed language domiance effect in both experiments, in line with many previous studies (e.g., Christoffels et al., 2007;Costa & Santesteban, 2004;Gollan & Ferreira, 2009;Misra et al., 2012;Verhoef et al., 2009). Some studies still observed such a reversed language dominance effect, even when there was no evidence for the asymmetry of switching costs (e.g., Costa & Santesteban, 2004, Experiments 2-5;Gollan & Ferreira, 2009). ...
Article
In recent years, some studies have started to explore the impact of individual general executive functions (EFs) on bilingual language control. To our knowledge, few studies have systematically examined various components of EFs on different levels of language control in bilinguals. In two experiments, we investigated the effects of two components of IC on different levels of bilingual language control. The language-switching task was used to tap into language control at different levels. The Simon task was used to measure interference suppression in Experiment 1, and a go/no-go task was used to measure response inhibition in Experiment 2. Experiment 1 found that the smaller the Simon effect was, the larger the asymmetry of switch costs was. Experiment 2 found that the shorter the go response time was, the larger the global slowing effect was. Taken together, these findings suggest that the interference suppression component of domain-general IC facilitates local level language control, while response inhibition impacts global level language control in bilinguals.
... Christoffels et al. (2007) have proposed that reverse dominance effects reflect general L1 inhibition, and results from other studies support this idea. For example, Misra et al. (2012) suggest naming in L2 requires sustained inhibition of L1. After bilinguals named a block of pictures in L2, repetition priming was absent when naming a block of pictures in L1. ...
... Consistent with previous experimental results, it is also assumed that the non-target language remains inhibited until a language switch (Misra et al., 2012). In other words, the model assumes that there is global inhibition of the non-target language. ...
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Bilingual language control refers to a bilingual's ability to speak exclusively in one language without the unintended language intruding. It has been debated in the literature whether bilinguals need an inhibitory mechanism to control language output or whether a non-inhibitory mechanism can be used. This paper presents mathematical models instantiating the two accounts. The models explain how participants' reaction times in language production (naming) are impacted by across-trial semantic relatedness and consistency of language (same or different language across trials). The models' predictions were compared to data from an experiment in which participants named semantically-related and-unrelated pictures in their first and second language. Results indicate that within-language facilitation effects are abolished after a language switch, supporting the predictions of the Inhibitory Model. However, within-language facilitation was observed over the course of 'stay' trials in which no language switch was required, contrary to the predictions of both models. A second experiment was conducted to determine the origin of this unexpected facilitation, by separating spreading activation effects from incremental learning effects. The results suggest the facilitation observed in Experiment 1 was due to spreading activation. Together, the modeling and data suggest that language switching abolishes spreading activation effects, but cumulative semantic interference (created by incremental learning) is unaffected by language switching. This suggests that (1) within-language control is non-competitive, (2) between-language language control is competitive and (3) learning plays a role in bilingual language speech production.
... Importantly, the presence or absence of increased crosslanguage activation in noise will not enable us to distinguish between these two accounts. However, since language control processes are more likely to be engaged when listening in the less dominant language (i.e., when the non-target language is more dominant; Mercier et al., 2014; see also Green, 1998 andMisra et al., 2012), the present study provides a stronger test of the phonetically based account. By examining recognition of the dominant language by proficient speakers of a non-dominant language, the current study tests the effects of noise on cross-language activation while minimizing the role of language control processes. ...
... Block order was fixed to keep any ordering effects constant across participants rather than further complicate the design. The E2TB block was ordered before the S2TB block to prevent any carryover effects of cross-language activation from one block to the next (Misra et al., 2012). The full set of stimuli was divided into four sets, with the cognates and non-cognates within each set matched as closely as possible (see "Materials"). ...
Article
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Previous research has shown that as the level of background noise increases, auditory word recognition performance drops off more rapidly for bilinguals than monolinguals. This disproportionate bilingual deficit has often been attributed to a presumed increase in cross-language activation in noise, although no studies have specifically tested for such an increase. We propose two distinct mechanisms by which background noise could cause an increase in cross-language activation: a phonetically based account and an executive function-based account. We explore the evidence for the phonetically based account by comparing cognate facilitation effects for three groups of native English listeners (monolinguals, late (L2) learners of Spanish, and heritage Spanish speakers) and four noise conditions (no noise, speech-shaped noise, English two-talker babble, and Spanish two-talker babble) during an auditory lexical decision task in English. By examining word recognition in the dominant language, the role of language control mechanisms is minimized, and by examining three different types of competing noise, the role of energetic vs. informational masking can be assessed. Contrary to predictions, we find no evidence that background noise modulates cross-language activation; cognate facilitation is constant across the four noise conditions. Instead, several indices of word recognition performance are found to correlate with aspects of linguistic experience: (1) The magnitude of the cognate facilitation effect is correlated with heritage listeners’ self-ratings of Spanish proficiency; (2) Overall noise deficits are marginally larger for heritage listeners with lower English vocabulary scores; (3) Heritage listeners’ Spanish self-ratings predict their magnitude of informational masking; (4) For all bilinguals, the degree of masking incurred in both English and Spanish two-talker babble is correlated with self-reported daily exposure to Spanish; and (5) The degree of masking incurred by Spanish babble is correlated with Spanish vocabulary knowledge. The results enrich our understanding of auditory word recognition in heritage speakers in particular and provide evidence that informational masking is most subject to modulation due to variation in linguistic experience. It remains to be seen whether cross-language activation is modulated by noise when the target language is the less dominant one.
... In contrast, the stimuli in the adult study were mixed with consecutive trials appearing randomly in either English or Spanish. Bilingualism research has shown that switching between languages causes asymmetric interference effects in a dominant versus non-dominant language [29][30][31][32]. In turn, the adult bilingual task may have elicited differences across languages, not because of differences in access to the multiplication facts, but because of asymmetric language switching effects. ...
... While in this study problems were blocked by language, Salillas and Wicha [4] presented the stimuli mixed with consecutive trials appearing at random, with alternating languages. Research has shown that switching between languages on linguistic tasks causes asymmetric interference effects in a dominant versus non-dominant language [29][30][31][32]. In turn, the task used by Salillas and Wicha [4] may have elicited differences across languages, not because of differences in access to the multiplication facts, but because of asymmetric language switching costs. ...
Article
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Many studies of bilingual arithmetic report better performance when verifying arithmetic facts in the language of learning (LA+) over the other language (LA−). This could be due to language-specific memory representations, processes established during learning, or to language and task factors not related to math. The current study builds on a small number of event-related potential (ERP) studies to test this question while controlling language proficiency and eliminating potential task confounds. Adults proficient in two languages verified single-digit multiplications presented as spoken number words in LA+ and LA−, separately. ERPs and correctness judgments were measured from solution onset. Equivalent P300 effects, with larger positive amplitude for correct than incorrect solutions, were observed in both languages (Experiment 1A), even when stimuli presentation rate was shortened to increase difficulty (Experiment 1B). This effect paralleled the arithmetic correctness effect for trials presented as all digits (e.g., 2 4 8 versus 2 4 10), reflecting efficient categorization of the solutions, and was distinct from an N400 generated in a word–picture matching task, reflecting meaning processing (Experiment 2). The findings reveal that the language effects on arithmetic are likely driven by language and task factors rather than differences in memory representation in each language.
... Subsequent research has also provided evidence of bilinguals' control of their L1 via inhibition while using the L2 (see also Van Heuven, Dijkstra, & Grainger, 1998;Costa & Santesteban, 2004;Wodniecka, Bobb, Kroll, & Green, 2005). Additional behavioral evidence for the role of cognitive control in bilingual language processing has been found for semantics, grammar, and speech planning (e.g., Hoshino & Thierry, 2012;Morales, Paolieri, & Bajo, 2011;Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012). Furthermore, evidence for the role of cognitive control in bilingualism comes from studies reporting that bilinguals often tend to outperform monolinguals in non-verbal tasks that require the use of cognitive control (e.g., Bialystok & Martin, 2004;Ryan, Bialystok, Craik, & Logan, 2004) although results have been mixed (e.g., Costa, Costa-Faidella, & Sebastián-Gallés, 2009;Paap & Greenberg, 2013;De Bruin, Treccani, & Della Sala, 2015;Duñabeitia & Carreiras, 2015). ...
... Thus, our results extend previous findings to a new population of L2 learners for a natural language. More generally, the positive relationship between cognitive control abilities and adult L2 proficiency is consistent with previous research with relatively proficient to proficient bilinguals that has suggested that cognitive control may be among the factors that allow bilinguals to functionally manage and use their languages (e.g., Chen et al., 2020;Hoshino & Thierry, 2012;Kang, Ma, Kroll, & Guo, 2020;Misra et al., 2012;Morales et al., 2011;Wu & Thierry, 2017), although this is not without controversy (e.g., Costa, Hernández, Costa-Faidella, & Sebastián-Gallés, 2009;Duñabeitia & Carreiras, 2015;Leivada, Duñabeitia, Westegaard, & Rothman, 2020;Paap & Greenberg, 2013, Wu & Thierry, 2013. ...
Article
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In the past 20 years, the field of bilingualism has made a substantial effort to better understand the set of cognitive mechanisms that allow bilinguals to functionally manage and use their lan- guages. Among the mechanisms that have been identified, cognitive control has been posited to be key for proficient bilingual language processing and use. However, the role of cognitive control in developing bilingualism, i.e., among adult learners learning a second language (L2), is still unclear with some studies indicating a relationship between cognitive control and adult L2 development/developing bilingualism and other studies finding the opposite pattern. This set of contradictory findings merits further investigation in order to deepen our understanding of the role that cognitive control plays during the process of becoming bilingual. In the present study, we aimed to address this open question by examining the role of cognitive control among adult L2 learners of Spanish at the intermediate level using multiple behavioral measures as a way to provide a multidimensional perspective on the role of cognitive control and developing bilin- gualism. Our results indicate a significant relationship between cognitive control abilities, specific to reactive control, and overall L2 proficiency. We also found a significant relationship between speed of processing and overall L2 proficiency. The results of this study contribute to the existing body of knowledge on cognitive factors related to developing bilingualism and provide critical new insight into the underlying cognitive mechanisms that may contribute to adult L2 learners becoming bilingual.
... Past studies with adults have shown that when individuals know fewer words in their non-dominant language, they require more active suppression of their dominant language while the non-dominant language is engaged. More practice actively suppressing the dominant language may then lead to greater gains in executive functioning skills (Gollan and Ferreira 2009;Meuter and Allport 1999;Misra et al. 2012). The partial correlation results for each sub-scale, including CEF, were non-significant (p-value range: 0.411-0.909), ...
... Studies on language switching provide evidence as to why inhibitory control is more efficient in bilinguals. Bilinguals who are less proficient in their non-dominant language must inhibit their dominant language more strongly in order to avoid interference while using their non-dominant language (e.g., Gollan and Ferreira 2009;Meuter and Allport 1999;Misra et al. 2012). In line with the hypothesis that the proposed bilingual cognitive advantage stems from practice in language control (i.e., selecting the target language and/or inhibiting the non-target language), the frequency of code-switching behaviors calling for such cognitive processes has been found to correlate with executive measures in both adults and children (Bosma and Blom 2019;Gross and Kaushanskaya 2015;Lai and OBrien 2020;Soveri et al. 2011). ...
Article
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The present study aims to assess differences in executive functioning between monolingual and multilingual 23-month-old toddlers, both when dichotomizing multilingualism and assessing it on a continuum. It is hypothesized that multilinguals, individuals with greater non-dominant language exposure, and individuals with more translation equivalents, would perform better in the following domains: response inhibition, attentional flexibility, and regulation. No differences are expected for working memory. The Early Executive Functions Questionnaire, a newly developed parental report, is used to measure the four executive functions of interest. Multilinguals and individuals with greater non-dominant language exposure have significantly higher response inhibition; however, no differences are noted for any other executive function. Additionally, no associations between translation equivalents and executive functioning are found. Post-hoc analyses reveal that non-dominant language production had a positive correlation with working memory. The present findings support the notion of a domain-specific cognitive advantage for multilingual toddlers.
... Proactive language control has also been investigated in single language blocks with the blocked language order effect, which is characterized by worse behavioral performance in a single language block when previously producing in a single language block that required using a different language (e.g., [17][18][19][20]). This effect is typically obtained in one of two ways: One setup relies on two consecutive single language blocks in which the bilingual participants usually name pictures in language A in Block 1 and in language B in Block 2. Behavioral results typically show worse performance in Block 2 (e.g., [17,21]. ...
... ERP blocked language order studies directly examined the possibility of proactive inhibitory control through the N2, which is a negative-going peak usually found around 200-350 ms after stimulus presentation that has been linked to inhibition (e.g., [22]). Misra and colleagues [19], for instance, examined the blocked language order effect with Chinese-English bilinguals. Half of the participants were asked to name pictures in Chinese in the first two blocks, followed by two blocks that required producing in English, and vice versa for the other half of participants. ...
Article
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The bilingual language control literature generally assumes that cross-language interference resolution relies on inhibition of the non-target language. A similar approach has been taken in the bidialectal language control literature. However, there is little evidence along these lines for proactive language control, which entails a control process that is implemented as an anticipation of any cross-language interference. To further investigate the possibility of proactive inhibitory control, we examined the effect of language variety preparation time, by manipulating the cue-to-stimulus interval, on parallel language activation, by manipulating cognate status. If proactive language control relies on inhibition, one would expect less parallel language activation (i.e., a smaller cognate facilitation effect) with increased proactive inhibitory control (i.e., a long cue-to-stimulus interval). This was not the case with either bilinguals or bidialectals. So, the current study does not provide evidence for proactive inhibitory control during bilingual and bidialectal language production.
... This cross-language competition occurs over and above the within-language lexical competition that all speakers (monolingual and bilingual) encounter, and could cost them word selection time and accuracy. Empirical support for this CROSS-LANGUAGE INTERFERENCE HYPOTHESIS (also referred to as COMPETITION HYPOTHESIS) comes from cross-language intrusions (Sandoval et al., 2010), slower naming in one language if the same words have just been named in the other language (Misra, Guo, Bobb & Kroll, 2012), and the interference of picture naming in the presence of cross-language semantic or phonological distractors (Hermans, Bongaerts, de Bot & Schreuder, 1998). However, there is evidence against cross-language interference. ...
Article
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Bilingual speakers are less accurate and slower than monolinguals in word production. This bilingual cost has been demonstrated primarily for nouns. This study compared verb and noun retrieval to better understand bilingual lexical representation and test alternate hypotheses about bilingual cost. Picture naming speeds from highly proficient English–Spanish bilinguals showed a smaller bilingual cost for verbs compared to nouns. In Experiment 1, picture naming speeds were influenced by name agreement, age-of-acquisition and word length. Additionally, noun (but not verb) naming speed was predicted by word frequency. Experiment 2 examined two potential explanations for the smaller bilingual cost for verbs: verbs experience weaker cross-language interference (measured by translation speed) and smaller frequency effects. Both these predictions were confirmed, showing crucial differences between verbs and nouns and suggesting that cross-language facilitation rather than interference influences bilingual lexical retrieval, and that the frequency lag account of bilingual cost is more applicable to nouns than to verbs. We propose a Bilingual Integrated Grammatical Category model for highly proficient bilinguals to represent lexical category differences.
... Task order was the same within each language. Participants were tested in L1-English first and L2 last to avoid L1 inhibition following L2 performance (Levy et al., 2007;Misra et al., 2012). The majority of tasks were presented electronically using the E-Prime 2.0 software (Psychology Software Tools Incorporated, 2012). ...
Article
We evaluated external and internal sources of variation in second language (L2) and native language (L1) proficiency among college students. One hundred and twelve native-English L2 learners completed measures of L1 and L2 speaking proficiency, working memory and cognitive control and provided self-ratings of language exposure and use. When considering learner-external variation, we found that more frequent L2 exposure predicted higher L2 and L1 proficiency, while earlier L2 exposure predicted higher L2 proficiency, but poorer L1 maintenance. L1-L2 distance limited cross-linguistic transfer of print-to-sound mappings. When considering learner-internal variation, we found that L1 and L2 proficiency were highly correlated and that better working memory, but not cognitive control accounted for additional variance in L2 and L1 proficiency. More frequent L2 exposure was associated with better cognitive control.
... However, it has been pointed out that the asymmetry of switch costs might not be the most reliable index to measure bilingual language control since some other studies failed to replicate this finding even in unbalanced bilinguals (see Bobb and Wodniecka 2013 for a review). Instead, these studies found that bilinguals were slower in naming pictures in their dominant L1 than in L2 in mixed language context even though they were faster in L1 in single language context (De Groot and Christoffels 2006;Kroll et al. 2008;Misra et al. 2012;Timmer et al. 2018). This finding is termed the L1 global slowing effect, and indicates that the dominant L1 is inhibited proactively in mixed language contexts (see Bobb and Wodniecka 2013 for a review). ...
Article
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Many studies have examined the cognitive and neural mechanisms of bilingual language control, but few of them have captured the pattern information of brain activation. However, language control is a functional combination of both cognitive control and language production which demonstrates distinct patterns of neural representations under different language contexts. The first aim of the present study was to explore the brain activation patterns of language control using multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA). During the experiment, Chinese–English bilinguals were instructed to name pictures in either Chinese or English according to a visually presented cue while being scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that patterns of neural activity in frontal brain regions including the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left inferior frontal gyrus, left supplementary motor area, anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral precentral gyri, and the left cerebellum reliably discriminated between switch and non-switch conditions. We then modeled causal interactions between these regions by applying effective connectivity analyses based on an extended unified structure equation model (euSEM). The results showed that frontal and fronto-cerebellar connectivity were key components of the language control network. These findings further reveal the engagement of the cognitive control network in bilingual language production.
... Competition resolution, understood as inhibition of competing information, is widely argued to be part of executive control processes (Baddeley 1986, Posner & Petersen 1990, Miyake et al. 2000. With respect to bilingualism, studies in lexical access reveal that interlocutions activate translational equivalents in the bilingual mind and those in the nontarget language are inhibited, thus suggesting that inhibition, being an executive function, is positively influenced by bilingualism (Green 1998;Costa et al. 1999;Abutalebi & Green 2007;Costa et al. 2008;Ivanova & Costa 2008;Guo et al. 2011;Misra et al 2012). That bilingualism contributes to an enhanced inhibition function of the Executive Control system was also a conclusion of a number of experimental studies on perceptual conflict tasks, e.g. ...
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This article reports the results of an experimental study that examines the influence of bilingualism on the acquisition and use of the 'Maximize Presupposition' principle in the context of speakers’ choices among propositional attitude predicates (equivalent to) 'know' and 'think'. We compared the performance of monolingual Slovenian- and Italian-speaking school children to that of age-matched early bilingual children speaking both languages. Our findings suggest that while all children demonstrate adherence to 'Maximize Presupposition' in an adult-like manner, bilingualism may enhance performance in pragmatic tasks that bear on this principle, and therefore constitutes a potential advantage in the relevant area.
... In order to assess language proficiency in Spanish and English, participants also completed a picture naming task, a verbal fluency task, and a lexical decision task in both languages. For these tasks, the order of presentation of the languages was always Spanish before English in order to mitigate any effects of the L2 (i.e., inhibition) on the L1 (Linck, Kroll & Sunderman, 2009;Misra, Guo, Bobb & Kroll, 2012). Each is described below. ...
Article
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Most studies on lexical priming have examined single words presented in isolation, despite language users rarely encountering words in such cases. The present study builds upon this by examining both within-language identity priming and across-language translation priming in sentential contexts. Highly proficient Spanish–English bilinguals read sentence-question pairs, where the sentence contained the prime and the question contained the target. At earlier stages of processing, we find evidence only of within-language identity priming; at later stages of processing, however, across-language translation priming surfaces, and becomes as strong as within-language identity priming. Increasing the time between the prime sentence and target question results in strengthened priming at the latest stages of processing. These results replicate previous findings at the single-word level but do so within sentential contexts, which has implications both for accounts of priming via automatic spreading activation as well as for accounts of persistence attested in spontaneous speech corpora.
... Previous studies by Misra et al. (2012) and Guo et al. (2013), suggested that in unbalanced bilinguals living in 8 L1 environment inhibition affects the dominant language as a whole, but the reported effects were confounded by repetition of the same pictures across experimental blocks (i.e., most likely involving item-level inhibition). Our data is free from similar impurity of the inhibition index. ...
Preprint
After naming pictures in their second language (L2), bilinguals experience difficulty in naming pictures in their native language (L1). The “L2 after-effect” is a lingering consequence of inhibition applied to L1 to facilitate L2 production. We proposed that the amount of L1 inhibition depends on the relative balance between current activation of L1 and L2. In two experiments, bilinguals performed a blocked picture-naming task which provided a measure of the relative balance between the two languages and indexed whole-language inhibition via the magnitude of the L2 after-effect. The higher the activation level of L1 and the lower the activation level of L2, the bigger the L2 after-effect. The results also reveal an enduring down-regulation of L1 activation level in more language-balanced speakers. The outcomes support the main tenets of the inhibitory account of bilingual language production and indicate a high level of dynamics in the language system.
... In general, bilinguals tend to be slower in word retrieval (than monolinguals), even in their dominant language (Gollan, Montoya, Cera & Sandoval, 2008). Meuter and Allport (1999) as well as Misra, Guo, Bobb, and Kroll (2012) found that there is a larger switching cost from the less dominant language to the more dominant language (than vice versa). The assumption, then, is that the longer RTs are related to inhibition of the dominant language, and that the latencies relate to the amount of inhibition applied (Higby, Donnelly, Yoon & Obler, 2020). ...
Thesis
One phenomenon causing issues for language learners in the form of cross-linguistic influence (CLI) is translation ambiguity (Eddington & Tokowicz, 2013). Translation ambiguity refers to a situation where word meanings are different in a speaker’s languages. To give an example, Swedish does not lexicalize any difference between TO LEND and TO BORROW, whereas this distinction is made in English. Jiang (2002) proposed that language learners depend on explicit rules to resolve translation ambiguity. That is, based on Jiang’s predictions, a Swedish learner of English would have to consciously remember this difference to use the two English words successfully. Research in this area has focused on speakers with two languages. This thesis extends the research into third language acquisition. In this thesis, four empirical investigations are presented. Studies 1 and 2 focus on the initial state in L2 and L3 learners, respectively, of a Finnish-based pseudolanguage Kontu. Study 3 explored L1 German and L2 English naturalistic learners of L3 Swedish with longitudinal data from a beginner’s level until advanced fluency in the L3. Study 4 is a cross-sectional replication of Study 3. The present thesis represents a unique constellation of studies on CLI in late foreign language learners’ multilingual mental lexicon (MML) in that it presents data covering the very initial state all the way up to a high (≥ CEFR C1) proficiency. Moreover, it presents data from all six potential directions of CLI in L3 acquisition, in both accuracy and processing. Finally, all four studies investigated both forward and reverse CLI in the MML. Taking the results of the four studies together, CLI in the MML appears to be multidirectional. Both forward and reverse CLI was observed. The forward effects align with the predictions of the Parasitic Model (Hall & Ecke, 2003) for the initial stages as well as the RHM-TA overall (Eddington & Tokowicz, 2013). No indications of independence from the previously acquired languages in the L3 lexical representations were found. Also, the results indicate that the effects of translation ambiguity primarily occur in forward CLI at the item level, while the ob-served effects in reverse CLI were more global in nature in line with the predictions of Higby and colleagues (2020). For reverse CLI, there were differences between immersed and non-immersed learners. Furthermore, CLI operates differently in accuracy and processing. That is, a lack of overt effects does not imply the absence of CLI, which corroborates Jiang’s hypothesis. Finally, cognitive control, working memory, and psychotypology were all found to affect the learners’ behavior. The findings highlight the importance of considering the lack of conceptual non-equivalence in modeling multi-lingual lexical processing as well the importance of separating the effects of attrition from the effects of reverse CLI.
... Other models, for example the Bilingual activation model (Dijkstra, van Heuven & Grainger 1998;Dijkstra & van Heuven 2002) focus less on the bilingual lexicon as a store, and more on the dynamic, processing aspects of the bilingual lexicon. A central question is whether word processing in bilinguals is language selective or not -and findings indicate that in a bilingual person, words from both languages are always activated to some extent, pointing towards a unified bilingual lexicon, at least as far as processing is concerned (Misra, Guo, Bobb & Kroll 2012;de Groot & Starreveld 2015;Libben & Goral 2015;Libben 2017). Data from neuroimaging studies, particularly those based on functional neuroimaging, seem to converge on a shared localization of different languages of bi/multinguals in the brain (Abutalebi & Green 2007;Sebastián, Laird & Kiran 2011), although the later the age of acquisition of the L2, the less the homogeneity in activation areas (Bloch, Kaiser, Kuenzli, Zappatore et al. 2009). ...
Book
The aim of the present volume is to provide an authoritative overview of research on multilingualism and ageing. Multilingualism exists in all countries, partly for historical reasons, but currently also because large numbers of people are moving into different countries due to wars, conflicts, and more general trends of globalisation. Furthermore, the world's population is ageing, and therefore the number of elderly multilinguals is also increasing. Whereas ageing in itself should not be viewed as a problem, there are of course certain challenges involved for care provision in relation to increasingly older populations, particularly in terms of multilingualism. So far, there is limited research backing up endeavours for care and healthcare concerning multilingualism and ageing. Here we try to bring together research that addresses these issues. The authors are all part of Centre for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan at The University of Oslo, either as staff, or, as associated researchers. Multilingualism over the lifespan is the central topic of research within the centre, with among others a number of projects on healthy ageing, aphasia and dementia in early as well as late multilinguals. The present contribution brings together the expertise on this topic at the centre, and is a joint venture of members of staff from the centre and the editors. The volume provides an overview of psycholinguistic as well as sociolinguistic perspectives on multilingualism and ageing in concert; a take which is an explicit goal for the centre, and so far, rare in this field. The audience aimed at are students in graduate programs, researchers, practitioners and anyone who is interested in multilingualism and ageing.
... Within each visit, the within-language priming block preceded the cross-language block (e.g., English -English priming block followed by English -Spanish or Spanish -Spanish followed by Spanish -English). This was preferred over counterbalancing all blocks because it minimized possible task order effects based on language dominance as seen in adult bilinguals (e.g., Misra et al., 2012). In addition, we designed the task such that within-language priming preceded cross-language priming to make cross-language priming as conservative as possible. ...
Article
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An important question in early bilingual first language acquisition concerns the development of lexical-semantic associations within and across two languages. The present study investigates the earliest emergence of lexical-semantic priming at 18 and 24 months in Spanish-English bilinguals (N = 32) and its relation to vocabulary knowledge within and across languages. Results indicate a remarkably similar pattern of development between monolingual and bilingual children, such that lexical-semantic development begins at 18 months and strengthens by 24 months. Further, measures of cross-language lexical knowledge are stronger predictors of children’s lexical-semantic processing skill than measures that capture single-language knowledge only. This suggests that children make use of both languages when processing semantic information. Together these findings inform the understanding of the relation between lexical-semantic breadth and organization in the context of dual language learners in early development.
... Past studies on different-script word production have reported findings that are similar to those for same-script production in that the consequences of cross-language competition appear to be evident (e.g., Hoshino and Kroll, 2008;Guo et al., 2011;Misra et al., 2012;Moon and Jiang, 2012). For example, Hoshino and Kroll (2008) found that both Japanese-English and Spanish-English bilinguals produced cognate facilitation in a simple picture naming task in English, their second language (L2). ...
Article
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The present study examined the role of script in bilingual speech planning by comparing the performance of same and different-script bilinguals. Spanish-English bilinguals (Experiment 1) and Japanese-English bilinguals (Experiment 2) performed a picture-word interference task in which they were asked to name a picture of an object in English, their second language, while ignoring a visual distractor word in Spanish or Japanese, their first language. Results replicated the general pattern seen in previous bilingual picture-word interference studies for the same-script, Spanish-English bilinguals but not for the different-script, Japanese-English bilinguals. Both groups showed translation facilitation, whereas only Spanish-English bilinguals demonstrated semantic interference, phonological facilitation, and phono-translation facilitation. These results suggest that when the script of the language not in use is present in the task, bilinguals appear to exploit the perceptual difference as a language cue to direct lexical access to the intended language earlier in the process of speech planning.
... Immersed L2 learners were also tested in L2-Chinese using equivalent measures of spoken word production. L2 retrieval was assessed last to avoid L1 inhibition following L2 performance (Levy, McVeigh, Marful & Anderson, 2007;Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012). Cognitive control and working memory measures were used to match groups on cognitive resources. ...
Article
We investigated whether the features of the second language (L2) matter when we consider the consequence of short-term L2 immersion on performance in the native language (L1). We compared L1 performance in English-speaking learners of a typologically-dissimilar L2-Chinese immersed in Chinese while living in Beijing, China and learners of a typologically-similar L2 (Spanish or French) exposed to the L2 in a classroom setting only. The groups were matched on cognitive abilities. Each group performed a battery of language tasks in English that assessed the ability to produce and recognize spoken words, as well as to name written words and pseudo-words in the native language. Immersed learners produced fewer words in their native language, made more semantic errors, and benefited more from higher lexical frequency when retrieving L1 words relative to classroom learners. Immersed learners also revealed reduced competition from dense phonological neighborhoods when listening to English words presented in noise, but no difference in English word reading and phonemic decoding performance compared to classroom learners. Results are consistent with the view that L2 immersion reduces access to the native language, but suggest that the consequences of L2 immersion on the L1 may be dependent upon the form of cross-language differences.
... We first consider how each of these effects of training and immersion might emerge, then generate predictions about how language training may differ for bilinguals immersed in their L2 rather than in the L1 environment. In particular, since the two languages are always active (Green, 1998;Kroll & Gollan, 2014), bilinguals may need to inhibit the more dominant language to enable production in the less dominant language (e.g., Guo, Liu, Misra, & Kroll, 2011;Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012;Van Assche, Duyck, & Gollan, 2013). However, the requirement to regulate two languages may differ under different circumstances, as proposed by the Adaptive Control Hypothesis (Green & Abutalebi, 2013). ...
Article
When bilinguals switch languages they regulate the more dominant language to enable spoken production in the less dominant language. How do they engage cognitive control to accomplish regulation? We examined this issue by comparing the consequences of training on language switching in two different contexts. Chinese-English bilinguals were immersed in English (L2) while studying abroad (this study) or in Chinese (L1) in their native language environment (Zhang et al., 2015). In each study, participants performed the AX-CPT task while EEG was recorded and were then trained on language switching. While Zhang et al. found that training enhanced proactive control in the L1 context, there were no effects of training under L2 immersion conditions. Critically, L2 immersed bilinguals revealed enhanced proactive control at pre-test and greater L1 inhibition on language switching relative to L1 immersed bilinguals. We hypothesize that L2 immersion creates a natural training context that increases reliance on proactive control to enable regulation of the L1.
... Finally, research has extensively demonstrated that, in bilinguals, both languages are co-activated even in contexts where only one is necessary (e.g., Hatzidaki et al., 2011;Bobb et al., 2020). This co-activation involves the recruitment of capacitylimited cognitive resources and mechanisms of control aimed to avoid interference from the non-intended language that may result in differences in how bilinguals process their L1 (e.g., Titone et al., 2011;Misra et al., 2012). Several circumstances can increase a load of resources, for instance, the unbalance between languages proficiency (e.g., the unintended language being more dominant), the complexity of sentence structure, or the similarity across languages. ...
Article
Full-text available
The native language changes as a result of contact with a second language, and the pattern and degree of such change depend on a variety of factors like the bilingual experience or the linguistic level. Here, we present a systematic review and meta-analysis of works that explore variations in native sentence comprehension and production by comparing monolinguals and bilinguals. Fourteen studies in the meta-analysis provided information regarding the bilingual experience and differences at the morphosyntactic level using behavioral methods. Overall, we observed that first language processing is subject to small transformations in bilinguals that occur in sentence comprehension and production. The magnitude of the changes depended on bilingual experiences, but only length of residence in an L2 setting predicted the degree of change, where shorter length of residence was associated with larger changes. Results are discussed and related to the cognitive processes that potentially cause the transformations in the first language. The present work reveals some limitations in the field that should be addressed in future studies to better understand the mechanisms behind language attrition.
... Although there has been debate about the meaning of the asymmetrical switch costs (see Bobb & Wodniecka, 2013, for a review), they have been reported for many different language combinations and for 6 language switches at both the lexical level and also following the extended use of one of the two languages. Misra, Guo, Bobb, and Kroll (2012) used a blocked picture naming paradigm to demonstrate that there was inhibition of the first or dominant language, L1, after speaking the L2 for an extended number of naming trials and that the apparent inhibition of the L1 was extended in time, even when L1 naming resumed. Van Assche, Duyck, and Gollan (2013) replicated the finding of asymmetric costs to switching in the blocked naming paradigm, but using a letter fluency task they were also able to separate local and global components of inhibition. ...
Chapter
In the last two decades there has been an upsurge of research on the cognitive and neural basis of bilingualism. The initial discovery that the bilingual’s two languages are active regardless of the intention to use one language alone, now replicated in hundreds of studies, has shaped the research agenda. The subsequent research has investigated the consequences of parallel activation of the two languages and considered the circumstances that might constrain language nonselectivity. At the same time, there has been emerging recognition that not all bilinguals are the same. Bilingualism takes different forms across languages and across unique interactional contexts. Understanding variation in language experience becomes a means to identify those linguistic, cognitive, and neural consequences of bilingualism that are universal and those that are language and situation specific. From this perspective, individuals who sign one language and speak or read the other, become a critical source of information. The distinct features of sign, and the differences between sign and speech, become a tool that can be exploited to examine the mechanisms that enable dual language use and the consequences that bilingualism imposes on domain general cognition. In this chapter, we review the recent evidence on bilingualism for both deaf and hearing signers. Our review suggests that many of the same principles that characterize spoken bilingualism can be seen in bilinguals who sign one language and speak or read the other. That conclusion does not imply that deaf vs. hearing language users are identical or that languages in different modalities are the same. Instead, the evidence suggests that the co-activation of a bilingual’s two languages comes to shape the functional signatures of bilingualism in ways that are universal and profound.
... Fig. 5 shows the mean voltage amplitudes for the entire epoch of 1,400 ms for each condition for posterior regions in the P600 time window. Visual data inspection revealed a P1/N2 complex typically linked to early visual processing (Cheng, Schafer, & Akyürek, 2010;Eulitz, Hauk, & Cohen, 2000;Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012;Schendan & Kutas, 2003). ...
Article
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This study investigated cross-linguistic interference in German low-proficient late learners of Spanish. We examined the modulating influence of gender congruency and cognate status using a syntactic violation paradigm. Behavioural results demonstrated that participants were more sensitive to similarities at the syntactic level (gender congruency) than to phonological and orthographic overlap (cognate status). Electrophysiological data showed that they were sensitive to syntactic violations (P600 effect) already in early acquisition stages. However, P600 effect sizes were not modulated by gender congruency or cognate status. Therefore, our late learners of Spanish did not seem to be susceptible to influences from inherent noun properties when processing non-native noun phrases at the neural level. Our results contribute to the discussion about the neural correlates of grammatical gender processing and sensitivity to syntactic violations in early acquisition stages.
... Ezeket a hatásokat nemcsak nyelvtanulóknál, de mindkét nyelven magas nyelvtudással rendelkező kétnyelvűeknél is kimutatták. Például Misra és munkatársai (Misra et al. 2012) kínai (L1) -angol (L2) kétnyelvűeknél, illetve japán-angol kétnyelvűeknél képmegnevezéses tesztekben azt találták, hogy ha L2 után az L1-en kell megnevezni a képet, akkor a reakcióidő lassabb ezek alapján kijelentik, hogy az L1 szabályozására szükség van a sikeres L2 elsajátításához. Az L1 kimutatható változásai olyan következménnyel is járnak az L2 elsajátítására, hogy a felnőttek L2tanulásának a célja nem az, hogy az egyén L1-e az egynyelvű anyanyelvi beszélőéhez hasonló szinten maradjon, hanem az, hogy az L1 kétnyelvű beszélője legyen. ...
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This study examines the impact of different language learning contexts on the mother tongue. The study covers the spoken and written language production of Russian-speaking students starting their studies in Hungary and compares their results with those of their English-speaking and monolingual peers in Russia. The research instruments include a language use and proficiency questionnaire, semantic and letter fluency tests, storytelling on the basis of a comic strip, and written production. The study is longitudinal: participants′ language performance is measured at the start of the study and after four months. The results show the impact of the non-native language learning environment on the native language, as reflected in a decrease in vocabulary richness and an increase in the percentage of pauses.
... Visual inspection of the voltage amplitudes for the selected channels revealed the characteristic P1/N2 complex for early visual processing (Cheng et al., 2010;Eulitz et al., 2000;Misra et al., 2012;Schendan and Kutas, 2003). Further, visual inspection also revealed a positive-going wave between 350 ms and 600 ms, consistent with the topographic distribution of a P300 (Barry et al., 2020). ...
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Characterising the time course of non-native language production is critical in understanding the mechanisms behind successful communication. Yet, little is known about the modulating role of cross-linguistic influence (CLI) on the temporal unfolding of non-native production and the locus of target language selection. In this study, we explored CLI effects on non-native noun phrase production with behavioural and neural methods. We were particularly interested in the modulation of the P300 as an index for inhibitory control, and the N400 as an index for co-activation and CLI. German late learners of Spanish overtly named pictures while their EEG was monitored. Our results indicate traceable CLI effects at the behavioural and neural level in both early and late production stages. This suggests that speakers faced competition between the target and non-target language until advanced production stages. Our findings add important behavioural and neural evidence to the underpinnings of non-native production processes, in particular for late learners.
... The LPC is a positive-going ERP component with a scalp distribution in the parietal region, reflecting a different pattern of inhibition from the N2 effect. Specifically, during the language switching task, the suppression of language task schema competition is reflected by the N2 effect, and the inhibition function during the later lexical selection response phase may be reflected by the LPC effect (e.g., Declerck, Philipp, & Koch, 2013;Liu et al., 2016;Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012). ...
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The Adaptive Control hypothesis and relevant empirical evidence in bilingualism literature have revealed the adaptive nature of bilingual language control in skilled languages, while the language control processes at the very initial stage of new language learning have not been examined. The present study investigated how the individual differences in inhibition ability and language switching experience influence the controlling process of newly learned languages, using event related potentials (ERPs) technology. We first assessed the language switching frequency and inhibition ability of Chinese-English bilinguals on Day 1. Then, all bilinguals learned words from new languages (namely German and Japanese words) during the next six days and completed a comprehension-based language switching task between the newly learned languages on Day 8. Results of mixed-effects models on the behavioral data showed that there were no switching costs (i.e., derived by contrasting switch trials with repeat trials) and no predictive effect of individual difference on the language switching between newly learned languages. However, the ERPs results revealed switching costs and individual difference effects in N2 and LPC. The language switching frequency significantly predicted the variability of the N2 and LPC, and the inhibition ability modulated the switch effect in Japanese as showed in the LPC. These findings suggest that individual differences predict comprehension-based language control between the newly learned languages, providing new evidence for the adaptability of language control from a language comprehension perspective.
... The bilinguals in the present study displayed a reversed language dominance effect through longer RTs and stronger N2 effects. These patterns are consistent with a study by Misra et al. (2012) in which Chinese-English bilinguals were asked to name pictures in one language during an experimental block followed by another block in which they named pictures in the other language. The results of the study indicated poorer L2 behavioral performance and greater N2 effects when an L2 block followed an L1 block compared to the reverse, suggesting persistent inhibition of L1 interference during the early phase of language task schema competition. ...
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A growing body of research suggests that the language in which bilinguals make decisions affects the rationality of such decisions. Furthermore, bilinguals constantly confront cross‐language interference that requires complex language control processes to resolve this competition. However, the relationship between language control and decision‐making is unclear. In the current study, we analyze electrophysiological and behavior data elicited from two groups of Chinese‐English bilinguals. One group was trained in intensive language switching and then completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the other group completed the two tasks in the reverse order. We found that bilinguals who first received language switching training significantly scored higher on the IGT, with the score positively correlating with L1 and L2 switch costs. More importantly, training with language switching first led to an N2 component for L1 switching costs that negatively correlated with both loss feedback‐related negativity and the P3 component. These effects did not emerge among the group of bilinguals who performed the IGT first. Taken together, the findings suggest that bilinguals are assisted in making rational decisions by language control on feedback evaluation. We uncovered the benefits of language control on rational choices using event‐related potentials (ERP). First, bilinguals who benefit from language control tend to get higher net scores on decision‐making than those who do not. Second, stronger language control induces a deeper feedback evaluation, showing more rational choices. Lastly, language control influences decision‐making via inhibition on feedback evaluation.
... In the mandatory language switching task, bilinguals are specifically instructed to name items in the L1 or L2 depending on a cue (e.g., national flag, colour of background screen, etc.). Numerous studies have found evidence of inhibitory control during mandatory language switching (Declerck and Philipp, 2015;Guo et al., 2011;Misra et al., 2012). One consistent finding is that language switch costs are observed in mandatory language switching tasks (Meuter and Allport, 1999). ...
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The present study measured event-related potentials (ERP) and behavioral performance to examine whether inhibitory control is involved in voluntary language switching, and if so, to explore the differences in inhibitory control between voluntary and mandatory language switching. Unbalanced Chinese-English bilinguals completed two picture naming tasks: one involving mandatory language switches and one in which participants could voluntarily switch between the two languages. Behavioral data showed significant switch costs and a reversed language dominance effect in both switching tasks. Critically, both effects were larger in mandatory compared to voluntary switching. ERP results revealed that neural switch costs during mandatory switching was significantly different than voluntary switching in both N2 and LPC amplitudes. In contrast, a significant difference in the reversed language dominance effect between both tasks was only observed in LPC amplitude. Together, these findings suggest the involvement of inhibitory control in both mandatory and voluntary language switching, but the degree of inhibition and the time-course of control processes between both tasks appear to be distinct.
... A large body of psycholinguistic research has shown that both languages are always active in the bilingual brain, despite the absence of any conscious awareness of the non-used language (Costa et al., 1999;Francis, 1999;Kroll et al., 2014;Marian & Spivey, 2003;Wu & Thierry, 2010). Because bilinguals rarely commit intrusion errors from the unwanted language, inhibitory control seemed to be an obvious mechanism for excluding the non-target language from ongoing processing (Liu et al., 2016;Martin-Rhee & Bialystok, 2008;Misra et al., 2012;Philipp & Koch, 2009). Evidence from brain imaging demonstrated that overlapping networks were used for language selection and nonverbal selection (review in Wong et al., in press). ...
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It has been claimed that bilingual experience leads to an enhancement of cognitive control across the lifespan, a claim that has been investigated by comparing monolingual and bilingual groups performing standard executive function (EF) tasks. The results of these studies have been inconsistent, however, leading to controversy over the essential assumptions underlying the research program, namely, whether bilingualism produces cognitive change. We argue that the source of the inconsistency is not in the evidence but rather in the framework that has typically been used to motivate the research and interpret the results. We examine the componential view of EF with its central role for inhibition and argue that it provides a poor fit to both bilingual experience and the results of these studies. As an alternative, we propose a more holistic account based on attentional control that overrides the processes in the componential model of EF and applies to a wider range of tasks. The key element in our account is that behavioral differences between monolingual and bilingual individuals reflect differences in the efficiency and deployment of attentional control between the two language groups. In support of this point we show how attentional control provides a more satisfactory account for a range of findings that cannot reasonably be attributed to inhibition. We also suggest that group differences will emerge only when the attentional demands of a task exceed the control abilities of one of the groups, regardless of the EF components involved. We then review literature from across the lifespan to evaluate the extent to which this account is consistent with existing evidence, and conclude with some suggestions on how the field may be advanced by new lines of empirical enquiry.
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This study assessed the usefulness of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to study word production in the brain. As a test case, we focused on the semantic interference effect (SIE), which has been demonstrated in many behavioral studies and has also been studied using neuroimaging techniques. Experiment 1 examined whether fNIRS can identify neural correlates of the SIE in a cross-modal picture-word interference (PWI) paradigm. Native speakers of Flemish Dutch overtly named pictures in their first language (L1), while ignoring auditory distractor words either categorically related or unrelated to target names. Functional NIRS data were obtained from the bilateral frontal and temporal regions and analyzed with a general linear model. We observed the SIE in the naming latencies and fNIRS detected the SIE in the cortical language network including the inferior frontal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, and precentral gyrus. Most areas showed a signal increase for the related condition compared with the unrelated condition. Experiment 2 tested whether fNIRS can pinpoint differences in neural activities related to semantic interference as a function of the target language in unbalanced bilinguals. Flemish Dutch-English unbalanced bilinguals therefore performed the same PWI task, but now with a second language (L2) naming condition as a separate block. We observed the SIE behaviorally in both language conditions; the size of the SIE was comparable in each language. FNIRS data indicated several channels showing different levels of sensitivity to the SIE between L1 and L2. Both experiments demonstrated that fNIRS could detect neural correlates of the SIE and target language. We will discuss the potential benefits and methodological concerns of using fNIRS for speech production research.
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This study asks if monolinguals can resolve lexical interference within a language with mechanisms similar to those used by bilinguals to resolve interference across languages. These mechanisms are known as bilingual language control, are assumed to be at least in part top-down, and are typically studied with cued language mixing, a version of which we use here. Balanced (Experiment 1) and nonbalanced Spanish-English bilinguals (Experiment 2) named pictures in each of their languages. English monolinguals from two different American cities (Experiments 3 and 4) named pictures in English only with either basic-level (e.g., shoe) or subordinate names (e.g., sneaker). All experiments were identically structured and began with blocked naming in each language or name type, followed by trial-level switching between the two languages or name types, followed again by blocked naming. We analyzed switching, mixing and (introduced here) post-mixing costs, dominance effects and repetition benefits. In the bilingual experiments, we found some signs of dominant deprioritization, the behavioral hallmark of bilingual language control: larger costs for dominant- than for nondominant-language names. Crucially, in the monolingual experiments, we also found signs of dominant deprioritization: larger costs for basic-level than for subordinate names. Unexpectedly and only in the monolingual experiments, we also found a complete dominance reversal: Basic-level names (which otherwise behaved as dominant) were produced more slowly overall than subordinate names. Taken together, these results are hard to explain with the bottom-up mechanisms typically assumed for monolingual interference resolution. We thus conclude that top-down mechanisms might (sometimes) be involved in lexical interference resolution not only between languages but also within a language.
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A key question in studies of cognitive development is whether bilingual environments impact higher-cognitive functions. Inconclusive evidence in search of a “bilingual cognitive advantage” has sparked debates on the reliability of these findings. Few studies with infants have examined this question, but most of them include small samples. The current study presents evidence from a large sample of 6- and 10-month-old monolingual- and bilingual-exposed infants (N = 152), which includes a longitudinal subset (n = 31), who completed a cueing attentional orienting task. The results suggest bilingual infants showed significant developmental gains in latency performance during the condition that was most cognitively demanding (Incongruent). The results also revealed bilingual infants’ performance was associated with their parents’ dual-language switching behavior. Taken together, these results provide support that bilingual experiences (i.e., dual-language mixing) influence infants’ shifting and orienting of attention.
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The primary goal of research on the functional and neural architecture of bilingualism is to elucidate how bilingual individuals' language architecture is organized such that they can both speak in a single language without accidental insertions of the other, but also flexibly switch between their two languages if the context allows/demands them to. Here we review the principles under which any proposed architecture could operate, and present a framework where the selection mechanism for individual elements strictly operates on the basis of the highest level of activation and does not require suppressing representations in the non-target language. We specify the conjunction of parameters and factors that jointly determine these levels of activation and develop a theory of bilingual language organization that extends beyond the lexical level to other levels of representation (i.e., semantics, morphology, syntax and phonology). The proposed architecture assumes a common selection principle at each linguistic level to account for attested features of bilingual speech in, but crucially also out, of experimental settings.
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The present study examined task order, language, and frequency effects on list memory to investigate how bilingualism affects recognition memory. In Experiment 1, 64 bilinguals completed a recognition memory task including intermixed high and medium frequency words in English and another list in Spanish. In Experiment 2, 64 bilinguals and 64 monolinguals studied lists with only high frequency English words and a separate list with only low frequency English words, in counterbalanced order followed by a recognition test. In Experiment 1, bilinguals who completed the task in the dominant language first outperformed bilinguals tested in the nondominant language first, and order effects were not stronger in the dominant language. In Experiment 2, participants who were tested with high frequency word lists first outperformed those tested with low frequency word lists first. Regardless of language and testing order, memory for English and high frequency words was lower than memory for Spanish and medium frequency (in Experiment 1) or low frequency (in Experiment 2) words. Order effects on recognition memory patterned differently from previously reported effects on picture naming in ways that do not suggest between language interference and instead invite an analogy between language dominance and frequency of use (i.e., dominant language = higher frequency) as the primary factor affecting bilingual recognition memory.
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Two seemingly counterintuitive phenomena - asymmetrical language switch costs and the reversed language dominance effect - prove to be particularly controversial in the literature on language control. Asymmetrical language switch costs refer to the larger costs for switching into the dominant language compared to switching into the less dominant language, both relative to staying in either one language. The reversed language dominance effect refers to longer reaction times when in the more dominant of the two languages in situations that require frequent language switching (i.e., mixed-language blocks). The asymmetrical language switch costs are commonly taken as an index for processes of transient, reactive inhibitory language control, whereas the reversed language dominance effect is taken as an index for sustained, proactive inhibitory language control. In the present meta-analysis, we set out to establish the empirical evidence for these two phenomena using a Bayesian linear mixed effects modelling approach. Despite the observation of both phenomena in some studies, our results suggest that overall, there is little evidence for the generality and robustness of these two effects, and this holds true even when conditions - such as language proficiency and preparation time manipulations - were included as moderators of these phenomena. We conclude that asymmetrical switch costs and the reversed language dominance effect are important for theory development, but their utility for theory testing is limited due to their lack of robustness and the absence of confirmed moderatory variables.
Chapter
Bilingual children’s better performance on cognitive tasks has been explained by greater proficiency in executive function (EF) compared with monolingual peers. This is postulated to stem from quality and complexity in their linguistic environment. Many international studies of executive function adopt leading indicators such as academic performance, overall well-being and happiness. This chapter takes a broader view on bilingualism, including child experience of instructed second language (L2) acquisition and research attempts to map relationships between this experience and EF. The focus is on investigations of causality and studies of the bidirectional influence between EF and L2, suggesting that individual childhood differences improve them as L2 learners and that early L2 experience, in turn, commands a lasting influence on EF. The controversy of the claimed bilingual cognitive advantage is also discussed, and methodological issues are raised. A recent call to re-examine EF to include a broader range of the skills relied upon by children to achieve specific goals is briefly introduced with implications for future studies of the EF/L2 relationship.
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For successful language production in a target language, bilingual individuals with aphasia must inhibit interference from the non-target language. It is currently unknown if successful inhibition of a non-target language involves general cognitive control (domain-general cognitive control) or whether it is control specific to linguistic mechanisms (domain-specific language control) during language production. The primary aim of this systematic quantitative literature review was to identify and synthesize available evidence, in relation to bilinguals with aphasia, for these two mechanisms. We conducted a literature search across five databases using a set of inclusion/exclusion criteria designed for the review. We extracted data from twenty studies reporting original research in bilinguals with aphasia. The results provided evidence for both domain-general cognitive control and domain-specific language control mechanisms, although most studies showed the involvement of domain-general cognitive control. Available neuroimaging data indicated that the neural regions involved in domain-general language control in bilinguals with aphasia were the anterior cingulate cortex, caudate nucleus, basal ganglia, and the frontal lobe. Theoretical implications for the bilingual inhibitory control model, clinical implications for assessment and treatment of cognitive control abilities in bilinguals with aphasia as well the need for future research are discussed.
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Models of bilingual speech production generally assume that translation equivalent lexical nodes share a common semantic representation. Though this type of architecture is highly desirable on both theoretical and empirical grounds, it could create difficulty at the point of lexical selection. If two translation equivalent lexical nodes are activated to roughly equal levels every time that their shared semantic representation becomes activated, the lexical selection mechanism should find it difficult to “decide” between the two (the “hard problem”) – yet in some cases bilinguals benefit from the presence of a translation equivalent “competitor”. In this article, we review three models that have been proposed as solutions to the hard problem. Each of these models has difficulty accounting for the full range of findings in the literature but we suggest that these shortcomings stem from their acceptance of the assumption that lexical selection is competitive. We argue that without this assumption each proposal is able to provide a full account of the empirical findings. We conclude by suggesting that the simplest of these proposals should be rejected before more complicated models are considered.
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Two picture-word interference experiments were conducted to investigate whether or not words from a first and more dominant language are activated during lexical access in a foreign and less dominant language. Native speakers of Dutch were instructed to name pictures in their foreign language English. Our experiments show that the Dutch name of a picture is activated during initial stages of the process of lexical in English as a foreign language. We conclude that bilingual speakers cannot suppress activation from their first language while naming pictures in a foreign language. The implications for bilingual speech production theories are discussed.
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Bilingual speech requires that the language of utterances be selected prior to articulation. Past research has debated whether the language of speaking can be determined in advance of speech planning and, if not, the level at which it is eventually selected. We argue that the reason that it has been difficult to come to an agreement about language selection is that there is not a single locus of selection. Rather, language selection depends on a set of factors that vary according to the experience of the bilinguals, the demands of the production task, and the degree of activity of the nontarget language. We demonstrate that it is possible to identify some conditions that restrict speech planning to one language alone and others that open the process to cross-language influences. We conclude that the presence of language nonselectivity at all levels of planning spoken utterances renders the system itself fundamentally nonselective.
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We investigated the consequences of bilingualism for verbal fluency by comparing bilinguals to monolinguals, and dominant versus non-dominant-language fluency. In Experiment 1, bilinguals produced fewer correct responses, slower first response times and proportionally delayed retrieval, relative to monolinguals. In Experiment 2, similar results were obtained comparing the dominant to the non-dominant languages within bilinguals. Additionally, bilinguals produced significantly lower-frequency words and a greater proportion of cognate responses than monolinguals, and bilinguals produced more cross-language intrusion errors when speaking the non-dominant language, but almost no such intrusions when speaking the dominant language. These results support an analogy between bilingualism and dual-task effects (Rohrer et al., 1995), implying a role for between-language interference in explaining the bilingual fluency disadvantage, and suggest that bilingual fluency will be maximized under testing conditions that minimize such interference. More generally, the findings suggest a role for selection by competition in language production, and that such competition is more influential in relatively unconstrained production tasks.
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In this article we discuss different views about how information flows through the lexical system in bilingual speech production. In the first part, we focus on some of the experimental evidence often quoted in favor of the parallel activation of the bilinguals' two languages from the semantic system in the course of language production. We argue that such evidence does not require us to embrace the existence of parallel activation of the two languages of a bilingual. In the second part of the article, we discuss the possibility that the language-not-in-use (or the non-response language) is activated via feedback from the sublexical representations and we devise some experimental procedures to assess the validity of such an assumption.
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The regular use of two languages by bilingual individuals has been shown to have a broad impact on language and cognitive functioning. In this monograph, we consider four aspects of this influence. In the first section, we examine differences between mono-linguals and bilinguals in children's acquisition of language and adults' linguistic processing, particularly in terms of lexical retrieval. Children learning two languages from birth follow the same milestones for language acquisition as mono-linguals do (first words, first use of grammar) but may use different strategies for language acquisition, and they generally have a smaller vocabulary in each language than do monolin-gual children learning only a single language. Adult bilinguals typically take longer to retrieve individual words than monolin-guals do, and they generate fewer words when asked to satisfy a constraint such as category membership or initial letter. In the second section, we consider the impact of bilingualism on nonverbal cognitive processing in both children and adults. The primary effect in this case is the enhancement of executive control functions in bilinguals. On tasks that require inhibition of distract-ing information, switching between tasks, or holding information in mind while performing a task, bilinguals of all ages outperform comparable monolinguals. A plausible reason is that bilinguals recruit control processes to manage their ongoing linguistic per-formance and that these control processes become enhanced for other unrelated aspects of cognitive processing. Preliminary evi-dence also suggests that the executive control advantage may even mitigate cognitive decline in older age and contribute to cognitive reserve, which in turn may postpone Alzheimer's disease. In the third section, we describe the brain networks that are responsible for language processing in bilinguals and demon-strate their involvement in nonverbal executive control for bilinguals. We begin by reviewing neuroimaging research that identifies the networks used for various nonverbal executive control tasks in the literature. These networks are used as a ref-erence point to interpret the way in which bilinguals perform both verbal and nonverbal control tasks. The results show that bilinguals manage attention to their two language systems using the same networks that are used by monolinguals performing nonverbal tasks. In the fourth section, we discuss the special circumstances that surround the referral of bilingual children (e.g., language delays) and adults (e.g., stroke) for clinical intervention. These referrals are typically based on standardized assessments that use normative data from monolingual populations, such as vocabulary size and lexical retrieval. As we have seen, however, these measures are often different for bilinguals, both for children and adults. We discuss the implications of these linguistic differences for standardized test performance and clinical approaches. We conclude by considering some questions that have important public policy implications. What are the pros and cons of French or Spanish immersion educational programs, for example? Also, if bilingualism confers advantages in certain respects, how about three languages—do the benefits increase? In the healthcare field, how can current knowledge help in the treatment of bilingual aphasia patients following stroke? Given the recent increase in bilingualism as a research topic, answers to these and other related questions should be available in the near future.
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Little is known in cognitive neuroscience about the brain mechanisms and brain representations involved in bilingual language processing. On the basis of previous studies on switching and bilingualism, it has been proposed that executive functions are engaged in the control and regulation of the languages in use. Here, we review the existing evidence regarding the implication of executive functions in bilingual processing using event-related brain potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Several brain potential experiments have shown an increased negativity at frontocentral areas in bilinguals, probably related to the activation of medial prefrontal regions, for different tasks, languages, and populations. Enhanced cognitive control is required in bilinguals, which also involves the recruitment of the left dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex. The degree of activation of this mechanism is also discussed considering the similarity of languages in use at the lexical, grammatical, and phonological levels. We propose that the prefrontal cortex probably mediates cognitive control in bilingual speakers through the interplay between a top-down selection-suppression mechanism and a local inhibitory mechanism in charge of changing the degree of selection-suppression of the different lexicons.
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The authors used a unilingual and bilingual primed lexical decision task to investigate priming effects produced by attended and ignored words. In the unilingual experiment, accelerated lexical decisions to probe target words resulted when the word matched the preceding target word, whereas slowed lexical decisions to probe target words resulted when the word matched the preceding ignored nontarget word. In the bilingual (English-Spanish) experiment, between-language, rather than within-language, priming manipulations were used. Although the ignored repetition negative priming effect replicated across languages, cross-language attended repetition positive priming did not. This dissociation of priming effects in the inter- versus intralanguage priming conditions contradicts episodic retrieval accounts of negative priming that deny the existence of selective inhibitory processes. On the other hand, these results support an extension of inhibition-based accounts of negative priming, because they indicate that inhibition can operate at two levels of abstraction — local word and global language — simultaneously.
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The present review focuses on event-related potential (ERP) studies that have addressed two fundamental issues in bilingualism research, namely the processing of a first versus a second language in the bilingual brain and the issue of control of two languages. A major advantage of the ERP technique is its high temporal resolution that enables the study of task-related neural activity at the millisecond level. For example, ERP studies of bilingualism have shown that developmental changes in the ability to discriminate native and foreign speech sounds can experimentally be traced by the presence or absence of a specific ERP component (the mismatch negativity). They have also revealed latency delays in a semantic-related ERP component (the N400) in bilinguals compared to monolinguals, as well as in bilinguals reading in their L1 or L2 language. These studies have also highlighted the importance of L2 proficiency level and age of acquisition on bilingual language processing. Moreover, ERP studies have pointed out potential mechanisms of avoidance of interference between languages (the NoGo N200 effect). The present review aims to describe and integrate the main results of the selected ERP studies on bilingualism and to provide an overview of how different ERP components can be used to address important theoretical questions in this field. Finally, we suggest potential research directions to clarify unresolved issues and to advance this emerging field of research.
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Five experiments are reported in which the picture naming performance of bilingual speakers in a language-switching task was explored. In Experiment 1, Spanish learners of Catalan and Korean learners of Spanish were asked to perform a switching task between their first and dominant language (L1, Spanish or Korean) and their second language (L2, Catalan or Spanish). For these two groups switching from the weaker language (L2) to the more dominant language (L1) was harder than vice versa. This asymmetrical switching cost was not present when highly proficient Spanish–Catalan bilinguals performed the task either in their two dominant languages (Experiments 2 and 3) or in their dominant language (L1) and in their much weaker language (L3 English; Experiment 4). Furthermore, highly proficient bilinguals showed faster naming latencies in their weaker languages (L2 and L3) than in their dominant language (L1). Experiment 5 tested whether a bias in the triggering of lexicalization is at the basis of such a difference. Together these results reveal that the switching performance of highly proficient bilinguals does not seem to be subject to the same mechanisms as that of L2 learners.
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Picture naming is a widely used technique in psycholinguistic studies. Here, we describe new on-line resources that our project has compiled and made available to researchers on the world wide web at http://crl.ucsd.edu/~aszekely/ipnp/. The website provides access to a wide range of picture stimuli and related norms in seven languages. Picture naming norms, including indices of name agreement and latency, for 520 black-and-white drawings of common objects and 275 concrete transitive and intransitive actions are presented. Norms for age-of-acquisition, word-frequency, familiarity, goodness-of-depiction, and visual complexity are included. An on-line database query system can be used to select a specific range of stimuli, based on parameters of interest for a wide range of studies on healthy and clinical populations, as well as studies of language development.
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