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Losing Access to the Native Language While Immersed in a Second Language: Evidence for the Role of Inhibition in Second-Language Learning

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Abstract

Adults are notoriously poor second-language (L2) learners. A context that enables successful L2 acquisition is language immersion. In this study, we investigated the effects of immersion learning for a group of university students studying abroad in Spain. Our interest was in the effect of immersion on the native language (L1), English. We tested the hypothesis that immersion benefits L2 learning as a result of attenuated influence of the L1. Participants were English-speaking learners of Spanish who were either immersed in Spanish while living in Spain or exposed to Spanish in the classroom only. Performance on both comprehension and production tasks showed that immersed learners outperformed their classroom counterparts with respect to L2 proficiency. However, the results also revealed that immersed learners had reduced L1 access. The pattern of data is most consistent with the interpretation that the L1 was inhibited while the learners were immersed.

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... Among the learner-extrinsic constraints to L2 acquisition, we consider age of acquisition, linguistic context, and L1-L2 distance. Age of acquisition (e.g., Hartshorne et al., 2018;Johnson & Newport, 1989) and linguistic context (Bice & Kroll, 2019;Linck et al., 2009) influence the relative amount of exposure to the L1 and L2 (see Gollan et al., 2008 andWhitford & for a discussion of the weaker links hypothesis). Intuitively, more opportunities to practice retrieving the L2 have been linked to higher L2 proficiency outcomes in both L2 immersion (Serrano et al., 2011;) and classroom environments (Barcroft, 2007;Kang et al., 2013). ...
... The underlying assumption of research on L2 attainment is that the L1 is a stable system that is not susceptible to change in the process of bootstrapping the L2. However, as the L2 builds upon the L1 system to facilitate L2 learning (e.g., Lemhöfer et al., 2008;, the two systems interact, resulting in L1 changes in the context of L2 learning (e.g., Botezatu et al., in press;Linck et al., 2009). Slower and less accurate L1 lexical retrieval may occur as a consequence of L2 interference (e.g., Jared & Kroll, 2001) or reduced L1 access (Botezatu et al., in press;Ivanova & Costa, 2007;Linck et al., 2009) as a result of L1 inhibition (Guo et al., 2011;Kroll et al., 2008). ...
... However, as the L2 builds upon the L1 system to facilitate L2 learning (e.g., Lemhöfer et al., 2008;, the two systems interact, resulting in L1 changes in the context of L2 learning (e.g., Botezatu et al., in press;Linck et al., 2009). Slower and less accurate L1 lexical retrieval may occur as a consequence of L2 interference (e.g., Jared & Kroll, 2001) or reduced L1 access (Botezatu et al., in press;Ivanova & Costa, 2007;Linck et al., 2009) as a result of L1 inhibition (Guo et al., 2011;Kroll et al., 2008). However, L2 proficiency is also known to facilitate the speed of L1 lexical retrieval by providing a frequency boost for translation-equivalent L1 words (Higby et al., 2020). ...
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.
... Wong, 2001) and can 2. Empirical Part -Page 16 therefore be hypothesized to play a key role in FL learning. Finally, inhibition-that is, the ability to suppress irrelevant information-has been postulated to promote FL attainment by temporarily suppressing irrelevant linguistic information (e.g., Linck et al., 2009). ...
... Attentional resources have been widely discussed in terms of their role for FL development and have been characterized as the initial stage involving perception of input that allows new information to be encoded into long-term memory (Issa & Morgan-Short, 2018;Leow, 2015;Robinson, 2003;Tomlin & Villa, 1994). Likewise, the ability to focus attention on the target language and inhibit all other FLs has also been linked to successful FL acquisition in adults (Linck et al., 2009). ...
... Linck et al., 2014;Pfenninger & Singleton, 2019), fluency in the L1Masrai & Milton, 2015; J. T.Williams et al., 2017), attention(Issa & Morgan-Short, 2018;Leow, 2015) and inhibition(Linck et al., 2009). ...
... Finally, we predict that English-Chinese bilinguals may process L1 MWEs in a different way from English monolinguals when they are in an L2 immersion context, due to the need to inhibit interference from their L1, especially if their knowledge of L2 is comparatively weak. This prediction is based on studies on the influence of L2 immersion on L1 processing which have found that bilinguals immersed in an L2 environment show slower processing speed in L1 compared to those who have not experienced immersion (Linck et al., 2009;Baus et al., 2013;Morales et al., 2014). ...
... For example, the original L1 MWEs may have been activated when the bilinguals read their L2 translation equivalents, but this activation may have been counteracted by the need to inhibit the non-target language (here, the participants' L1, Chinese), since the task was completed entirely in the L2 (Green, 1998). Additionally, the Chinese-English bilinguals' L1 may be inhibited, at the whole language level, in the context of their L2 immersion (Linck et al., 2009). Neurological studies have shown that competing information in the L1 needs to be suppressed to access information in an L2 (Abutalebi and Green, 2007;Pulido, 2021). ...
... The result that the mean RTs on L1 (English) lexical decisions were somewhat slower for the English-Chinese bilinguals than for the English monolinguals (512 ms vs. 497 ms; p < 0.0001) provides some evidence to support this conjecture. It has been shown that, after immersion in a foreign language, even just for a few months, bilinguals may experience delay when retrieving L1 words (Linck et al., 2009;Baus et al., 2013). Immersion is argued to enable bilinguals to attenuate the activity of the L1, thus better controlling L1 lexical competition and facilitating L2 learning (Linck et al., 2009). ...
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The present study investigated cross-language influences in the processing of binomial expressions (knife and fork), from a first language (L1) to a second language (L2) and from L2 to L1. Two groups of unbalanced bilinguals (Chinese/L1-English/L2 and English/L1-Chinese/L2) and a control group of English monolinguals performed a visual lexical decision task that incorporated unmasked priming. To assess cross-language influences, we used three types of expressions: congruent binomials (English binomials that have translation equivalents in Chinese), English-only binomials, and Chinese-only binomials translated into English. Lexical decision latencies to the last word (fork) in a binomial (knife and fork) were compared with response latencies to the same word in a matched control phrase (spoon and fork). We found that (1) Chinese-English bilinguals showed a significant priming effect for congruent binomials but no facilitation for English-only binomials, (2) English–Chinese bilinguals showed a trend toward priming for congruent binomials, which did not reach statistical significance, and no priming for English-only binomials, (3) English monolinguals showed comparable priming for congruent and English-only binomials. With respect to the Chinese-only binomials, none of the three participant groups showed priming for translated Chinese-only binomials over controls. These findings suggest that L1 influences the processing of L2 binomials, and that there may be some cross-linguistic influence in the opposite direction, i.e., from L2 to L1, although to a lesser extent.
... 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. ...
... This task was chosen as there is some recent evidence suggesting a strong correlation between the verbal fluency task and objective measures of language proficiency (Beatty-Martínez, Navarro-Torres, Dussias, Bajo, Guzzardo Tamargo & Kroll, 2019). The task included eight categories (the same as in Baus, Costa &Linck et al., 2009) that were split into two blocks: animals, clothing, musical instruments, and vegetables; or body parts, colors, furniture, and fruits. One block was named in Spanish and the other in English with the categories counterbalanced by participant across languages. ...
... Since participants were living in a largely Spanish-dominant environment (Puerto Rico), more frequent use of Spanish may have resulted in higher self-rated speaking abilities in Spanish. Similarly, lexical access in Spanish may have been facilitated (e.g., Linck et al., 2009; see also Beatty-Martínez et al., 2019), resulting in greater accuracy in Spanish in the picture naming task. ...
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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.
... The apparent inhibition of the L1 has been documented in studies of L2 immersion (e.g. Baus, Costa, & Carreiras, 2013;Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009) and in the laboratory (e.g. Misra, Guo, Bobb, & Kroll, 2012; Van Assche, Duyck, & Gollan, 2013). ...
... Although there is documented recovery in the studies on L2 immersion, at least months following a return to the L1 environment (e.g. Linck et al., 2009), there is little known about the scope of these regulatory effects. We hypothesize that, at least to some extent, the presence of L1 modulation in response to the demands of bilingual experience may contribute to longer term adaptations than have been reported (e.g. ...
... A key commonality between the two studies reviewed above is that both bilingual groups grew up in an L1 environment, but were immersed in an L2 (English) environment at the time of testing (Edinburgh, Scotland in Navarro-Torres et al. 2019; Pennsylvania, US in Zirnstein et al. 2018). As mentioned previously, the evidence suggests that L2 immersion reduces the accessibility of the L1 in advanced learners (Baus et al., 2013;Linck et al., 2009), suggesting that L1 regulation is key for learners to develop high L2 proficiency. It is possible that L2 immersion also affects proficient bilinguals by increasing the demands on L1 regulation, thus triggering a greater need for domain-general control processes. ...
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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.
... This paper delves into the topic by first examining the NEST bias in ELT, to then demystify some of the common assumptions surrounding the concept of nativeness (both the native language 1 and the native speaker) by drawing insights from empirical evidence and research in second language acquisition and first language attrition (e.g. Linck et al. 2009;Sorace and Filiaci 2006;Chamorro et al. 2016;Mennen 2004). The NEST-NNEST debate is finally drawn to a close by outlining strengths and weaknesses of different teacher models (Árva and Medgyes 2000;Hayes 2009;Song and Gonzalez Del Castillo 2015) also in light of the current status of English as a lingua franca (cf. ...
... More recent research also shows that first signs of attrition appear very early as a consequence of intensive exposure to the L2, and they result in difficulties in retrieving vocabulary as soon as after three months of being immersed in an L2-speaking environment (e.g. Linck et al. 2009). These studies support the idea that the two languages are active in the mind of a bilingual speaker at all times (e.g., Dijkstra and Van Heuven 2002;Kroll et al. 2005;Marian and Spivey 2003): to allow the quick and successful access to the lexicon in one language, the bilingual speaker needs to 'inhibit' the language not in use in that particular moment (cf. ...
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For years, the field of English language teaching has been divided between supporters of native versus non-native English-speaking teachers, with a widely reported bias for the native model. The following paper analyses this long-standing debate by discussing how the bias for native English-speaking teachers arises from a traditionally monolingual point of view which no longer holds in our multilingual societies. Specifically, in light of recent research on bilingualism, not only is the concept of the monolingual native speaker an idealisation rather than a reality, but there are also substantial changes that native speakers display in the use of their first language (i.e. 'attrition') as a result of speaking a second language. This evidence undermines the supposed stability of the native language and the traditional bias for native English-speaking teachers. Since strengths and weaknesses can be found in all teachers, also given the current status of English as a lingua franca, there are plenty of reasons for abandoning this outdated dichotomy and focus instead on teachers' skills and expertise, to ultimately allow and encourage cooperation amongst complementary English language teachers.
... In each study, the participants completed the following questionnaires: the PREPRINT: Kałamała, P., Chuderski, A., Szewczyk, J. M., Senderecka, M., language questionnaire (based on Li et al., 2014;Marian et al., 2007) the Polish translation of the Code-switching and Interactional Contexts Questionnaire (Hartanto & Yang, 2016, Appendix E), and the Patterns of Language Use Questionnaire (Kałamała et al., 2020, Appendix C). They also performed LexTALE (i.e., deciding whether a string of letters is an existing English word; Lemhöfer & Broersma, 2012) and the semantic fluency test (i.e., producing words that belong to a given semantic category within a given time limit; Linck et al., 2009). In each study, a socio-demographic background questionnaire and several nonlinguistic tasks were also administered, but they were beyond the scope of this report. ...
... LexTALE (Lemhöfer & Broersma, 2012) Knowledge of L2 vocabulary the percentage of correctly identified English words Semantic fluency 1 (for Dataset 1, see Abrahams et al., 1997Abrahams et al., , 2000 for Dataset 2, see Linck et al., 2009) Semantic L2 fluency the number of correctly produced words (without repetitions and proper names); for Dataset 1, the score was additionally divided by the time spent writing a single word in order to accommodate individual variation in writing speed ...
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The growing importance of research on bilingualism in psychology and neuroscience motivates the need for a unified approach to understanding and quantifying this phenomenon. This study aimed to establish the first psychometric model of bilingualism. To this end, we re-analyzed two datasets (N = 171 and N = 112) from Polish-English bilinguals who completed a battery of questionnaires and tasks probing language experience. We asked whether bilingualism is best described by the factor structure (generalizable dimensions of bilingualism that are potentially explained by a higher-order construct) or by the network structure (direct and low-level dependencies between language skills and language-use practices which leads to the emergence of bilingualism). The factor and network structures were established on one dataset and then validated on the other dataset in a fully confirmatory manner. The network model provided the best fit to the data. Further network analyses showed that some indices demonstrated relatively stronger connections within the network than others. Yet, there was no central index that would explain most of the variability in bilingual experience. The results imply that bilingualism should be conceptualized as an emergent network of low-level and idiosyncratic dependencies between diverse language skills, the history of language acquisition, and language-use practices. These dependencies can be reduced to neither a single universal quotient nor to some more general factors. Overall, an indisputable advantage of the network model over the factor approach indicates the great potential of network modeling to gain a more accurate description and understanding of complex cognitive phenomena.
... Reassembly Hypothesis (FRH), originally conceived for L2 acquisition, to account for the differences and variability in heritage language acquisition by appealing to lack of activation of the heritage language across the lifespan of heritage bilinguals (Levy, Mcveigh, Marful, & Anderson, 2007;Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009;Putnam, Perez-Cortes & Sánchez, 2019;Seton & Schmid, 2016). Specifically, Putnam and Sánchez's (2013) heritage language in various scenarios featuring lack of heritage language activation for production and comprehension purposes (see Section 2.3 for a detailed discussion of this model). ...
... Putnam and Sánchez's (2013) model is the result of the extension of Lardiere's (2008Lardiere's ( , 2009 Feature Reassembly Hypothesis (FRH), which was originally conceived for L2 acquisition. Putnam and Sánchez's (2013) model entails the notion of language activation as a factor impacting heritage language acquisition and maintenance (Levy et al., 2007;Linck et al., 2009;Seton & Schmid, 2016). In heritage bilinguals, the growing activation of the L2 as dominant language and consequent inhibition of the heritage language throughout the speakers' lifespan results in a (Putnam, Perez-Cortes, Sánchez, 2019). ...
Article
The present study examines the production and intuition of Spanish clitics in clitic left dislocation (CLLD) structures among 26 Spanish heritage speakers (HSs) born and raised in Brazil. We tested clitic production and intuition in contexts in which Spanish clitics vary as a function of the semantic features of the object that they refer to. Results showed overextension of object clitics into contexts in which null objects were expected. Furthermore, we found higher levels of overextension among the HSs with lower patterns of heritage language use. Results are discussed along the lines of the model of heritage language acquisition and maintenance.
... Flege, 1987), but Chang (2012) has shown that such changes may occur after only five days of an intensive language course in American students learning Korean. Regarding lexical retrieval, students involved in study abroad programs may show increased naming latencies in their L1 after only a few months (Baus, Costa, & Carreiras, 2013), or reduced performance in verbal fluency tasks (Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009). At the lexical level also, cognate effects, amply documented in highly proficient bilinguals, seem to emerge in beginners, and are established by the intermediate level in such learners (Bice & Kroll, 2015) as well as in immersed students (Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009). ...
... Regarding lexical retrieval, students involved in study abroad programs may show increased naming latencies in their L1 after only a few months (Baus, Costa, & Carreiras, 2013), or reduced performance in verbal fluency tasks (Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009). At the lexical level also, cognate effects, amply documented in highly proficient bilinguals, seem to emerge in beginners, and are established by the intermediate level in such learners (Bice & Kroll, 2015) as well as in immersed students (Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009). Convergence between the languages has also been shown in intermediate level learners with respect to encoding of manner and path (Brown & Gullberg, 2013). ...
Article
While it has long been assumed that brain plasticity declines significantly with growing maturity, recent studies in adult subjects show grey and white matter changes due to language learning that suggest high adaptability of brain structures even within short time-scales. It is not known yet whether other language development phenomena, such as attrition, may also be linked to structural changes in the brain. In behavioral and neurocognitive research on language attrition and crosslinguistic influence, findings suggest high plasticity as language interaction patterns of bilingual speakers change constantly and from early stages of language acquisition onwards. In this paper we will speculate on possible links between brain plasticity and L1 attrition in adult bilinguals, with particular attention to a number of factors that are put forward in memory frameworks in order to explain forgetting: time elapsed, frequency of L1 use, and interference from L2. In order to better understand the time-scales involved in the plastic changes during bilingual development, we then discuss some recent studies of re-exposure to L1 in formerly attrited immigrants, and their implications with respect to brain plasticity.
... At the same time, other research demonstrates that language immersion confers some special benefits for adult language learning (Freed, 1995;Freed, Segalowitz, & Dewey, 2004;. Immersion has been hypothesized to not only increase the level of exposure to the newly learned L2, but also to actively suppress the native or first language (L1, Jacobs, Fricke, & Kroll, 2016;Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009). ...
... Not only will the context of language immersion have consequences for control, but immersion in the L2 may also have distinct consequences for different types of bilingual speakers. Previous studies have reported that immersion in an L2 enables adult learners to attenuate the activation of L1 as well as actively inhibit the L1 when frequently speaking the L2 (Baus, Costa, & Carreiras, 2013;Levy, McVeigh, Marful, & Anderson, 2007;Linck et al., 2009). As a result, extensive immersion in an L2 may eventually result in L1 attrition when the native language is no longer used actively (Dussias & Sagarra, 2007;Schmid, 2010). ...
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.
... If so, usage related factors such as current language of the environment (immersion), length of exposure or residence, and relative frequency of language use should play a critical role in modulating the directionality and strength of CLI. Both for L1-to-L2 and L2-to-L1 CLI, evidence from phonological and lexical processing has provided support for this assumption (e.g., Chang, 2012;Linck et al., 2009). The evidence is sparser and less conclusive at the level of sentence processing, particularly for L2-to-L1 CLI (Dussias & Sagarra, 2007;Kasparian & Steinhauer, 2017). ...
... For instance, Chang (2012) demonstrated L2 effects on L1 speech production at multiple levels of phonological representation among L1 English speakers after only a few weeks of extensive instruction in Korean. At the level of lexical processing, studies have shown reduced lexical access in the L1, especially for low-frequency, non-cognate words, after as little as six months of study abroad in an L2 environment (Baus et al., 2013;Linck et al., 2009). Evidence for L2-to-L1 CLI at the level of syntax has been less consistent (Gürel, 2008;Schmid & Köpke, 2017). ...
Article
This study explores the boundary conditions of crosslanguage permeability in syntactic processing among late bilinguals, testing crosslinguistic influence (CLI) both from the first language (L1) to the second language (L2) and from the L2 to the L1. Findings from a visual world experiment with four groups of German-English and English-German bilinguals showed robust evidence for order of acquisition, but not for usage and immersion in L2, constraining CLI in the processing of structurally ambiguous wh-questions in German. Whereas CLI from the L1 persistently affected L2 sentence processing even among near-native and immersed L2 users, L1 processing appeared resilient against influence from the L2, even after long-term L2 immersion. These findings suggest that the timing of linguistic input in development plays a more critical role than current language use with regard to CLI in sentence processing among late bilinguals. The study highlights how systematic and bidirectional investigations of CLI contribute towards more nuanced models of the bilingual mind.
... She found that participants living in an English-speaking environment read faster in English than those living in China, even though both groups had similar scores on an English proficiency test. This may be at least partly explained by the frequency with which the L2 is used compared to the L1; Linck, Kroll, and Sunderman (2009) found that language learners in an immersed L2 setting were able to more successfully inhibit their L1 and consequently performed better on tasks of L2 verbal fluency and experienced less translation interference than those in a non-immersion setting. Therefore, the extent to which the L2 is used relative to the L1 may also play a role in L2 processing speed. ...
... This might imply that the extramural and university English input in a parallel language situation such as Norway, though relatively massive, is still not sufficient to make up for differences in processing, resulting in slower academic reading speed compared to L2 speakers living in the UK who, importantly, are likely to be using English for most academic activities, including lectures, discussions, and assignments. The faster English reading in the UK-based L2 group may also be a result of more efficient L1 inhibition due to the English-speaking environment (see e.g., Linck et al., 2009). ...
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Slower reading in a second language (L2) has been attributed to lower proficiency and/or to slower language processing. This study investigates the role of linguistic context in L1 and L2 academic reading speed among 295 undergraduate Psychology students who all read English language texts at university. The aim was to compare academic reading among students in a predominantly English-speaking environment (the UK) with those in a parallel language context where both English and the local language are used in teaching (Norway). Three groups were tested: Norwegian students in Norway, and both L1 and L2 English-users in the UK. Participants completed a timed academic reading task, followed by comprehension questions. Although all three groups achieved similar mean scores on the comprehension questions, the L1 and L2 English-speaking students in the UK read the text significantly faster than the Norwegian students. There was no significant difference between reading times for the L1 and L2 readers in the UK, indicating that the difference was not simply a consequence of L2 reading. Additionally, in contrast to previous research on groups with lower L2 proficiency, this study found no significant association between reported extramural English exposure and reading speed in either L2 group. The results indicate that advanced L2 readers in a parallel language environment may need more time to read academic texts in L2 compared to L1 readers and L2 readers in an immersion context, which has implications for the time and support needed by these students.
... Novel language learning is a common task that extends beyond monolinguals learning a second language (L2) to bilinguals learning a third language (L3) or a fourth one. Several variables have been highlighted as affecting novel language learning, including the age of the learner (Birdsong, 2005), the context of learning (e.g., Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009), previous experience with language learning (e.g., Hirosh & Degani, 2018), the typological similarity of the novel language to the language(s) known (Rothman, 2011), the relationships among the words being learned, and the direction of translation during training and testing (Kemp & McDonald, 2021). However, little research has examined how the language of instruction (LOI) affects learning (though discussed by Bogulski, Bice, &Kroll, 2019 andby Tomoschuk, Duyck, Hartsuiker, Ferreira, &Gollan, 2021). ...
... Thus, the larger language context in which the study was conducted is biased toward the L1. Given that language context has been shown to affect the level of activation of the two languages among bilingual speakers (Kreiner & Degani, 2015;Linck et al., 2009), future studies should examine whether the LOI effect observed here extends to other environmental language contexts. ...
Article
When learning novel vocabulary in a third language (L3) through translations in the first language (L1), bilinguals may have more available cognitive resources and more accumulated experience in language regulation compared to when learning through translations in the second language (L2). In a study designed to test language of instruction (LOI) effects, 59 Hebrew–English bilinguals auditorily learned over two sessions 55 words in German, including three word types: cognates, overlapping in form and meaning between English and German; false cognates, overlapping in form but not meaning; and controls. Critically, half of the participants learned through their (dominant) L1 Hebrew, and half through their L2 English (which is also more similar to German). Results showed a significant LOI effect, with better learning through the (less similar) L1, especially for control items. Cognates were learned better in both LOIs, but false cognates were learned better relative to controls to a greater extent when the LOI was English. Together, results highlight the importance of LOI and item‐based language similarity during multilingual novel word‐learning.
... Reassembly Hypothesis (FRH), originally conceived for L2 acquisition, to account for the differences and variability in heritage language acquisition by appealing to lack of activation of the heritage language across the lifespan of heritage bilinguals (Levy, Mcveigh, Marful, & Anderson, 2007;Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009;Putnam, Perez-Cortes & Sánchez, 2019;Seton & Schmid, 2016). Specifically, Putnam and Sánchez's (2013) heritage language in various scenarios featuring lack of heritage language activation for production and comprehension purposes (see Section 2.3 for a detailed discussion of this model). ...
... Putnam and Sánchez's (2013) model is the result of the extension of Lardiere's (2008Lardiere's ( , 2009 Feature Reassembly Hypothesis (FRH), which was originally conceived for L2 acquisition. Putnam and Sánchez's (2013) model entails the notion of language activation as a factor impacting heritage language acquisition and maintenance (Levy et al., 2007;Linck et al., 2009;Seton & Schmid, 2016). In heritage bilinguals, the growing activation of the L2 as dominant language and consequent inhibition of the heritage language throughout the speakers' lifespan results in a (Putnam, Perez-Cortes, Sánchez, 2019). ...
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The present study examines the production and intuition of Spanish clitics in clitic left dislocation (CLLD) structures among 26 Spanish heritage speakers (HSs) born and raised in Brazil. We tested clitic production and intuition in contexts in which Spanish clitics vary as a function of the semantic features of the object that they refer to. Results showed overextension of object clitics into contexts in which null objects were expected. Furthermore, we found higher levels of overextension among the HSs with lower patterns of heritage language use. Results are discussed along the lines of Putnam and Sánchez’s (2013) model of heritage language acquisition and maintenance.
... For instance, after using the second language (L2), a bilingual's first language (L1) is temporarily inhibited and harder to reactivate (e.g., Costa & Santesteban, 2004). This is also illustrated by L2-immersed learners demonstrating increased difficulty producing words in the L1 (Botezatu et al., 2020;Linck et al., 2009). The impact of managing two or more languages may also extend beyond the lexical level, as syntactic parsing strategies in one language can come to impact parsing in another (Dussias & Cramer Scaltz, 2008;Dussias & Sagarra, 2007). ...
... Indeed, both of these hypotheses attribute fixed cognitive differences for different types of bilinguals to their (at least initial) cognitive flexibility to adjust to the language demands of their dominant interactional context. This flexibility is demonstrated by the adjustments that bilinguals and/or L2 learners' linguistic systems make in immersion contexts (Botezatu et al., 2020;Dussias & Sagarra, 2007;Linck et al., 2009). Recently, Green (2018) has expanded the Control Process Model to account for more moment-to-moment changes in language control demands required for bilingual code-switching, shifting to a more states-based hypothesis. ...
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The study of how bilingualism is linked to cognitive processing, including executive functioning, has historically focused on comparing bilinguals to monolinguals across a range of tasks. These group comparisons presume to capture relatively stable cognitive traits and have revealed important insights about the architecture of the language processing system that could not have been gleaned from studying monolinguals alone. However, there are drawbacks to using a groupcomparison, or Traits, approach. In this theoretical review, we outline some limitations of treating executive functions as stable traits and of treating bilinguals as a uniform group when comparing to monolinguals. To build on what we have learned from group comparisons, we advocate for an emerging complementary approach to the question of cognition and bilingualism. Using an approach that compares bilinguals to themselves under different linguistic or cognitive contexts allows researchers to ask questions about how language and cognitive processes interact based on dynamically fluctuating cognitive and neural states. A States approach, which has already been used by bilingualism researchers, allows for cause-and-effect hypotheses and shifts our focus from questions of group differences to questions of how varied linguistic environments influence cognitive operations in the moment and how fluctuations in cognitive engagement impact language processing.
... Attrition has been defined as the loss of access to features or structures that had been acquired previously (Schmid, 2011). Previous studies on the topic show differences in L1 attriters' acceptability or interpretative tasks instead of productive tasks (Kaltsa et al., 2015;Linck et al., 2009;Perez-Cortes, 2016). The results in non-productive tasks confirm the L1 attriters' loss of access to features as opposed to issues related to production, such as morphological complexity (Lardiere, 2008(Lardiere, , 2009). ...
... Hypothesis 1: Romanian-Spanish bilinguals may show signs of BCLI as a result of an ongoing process of reassembling features from their L1 into their L2, consistently with Lardiere's (2009) Feature Reassembly Hypothesis. This reassembly process, as well as lack of use of their L1 (Levy et al., 2007;Linck et al., 2009), may also lead to CLI from their L2 into their native tongue. On the other hand, the bilinguals' signs of BCLI may be the result of the constant coactivation of their two languages, which makes the distribution of DOM in their Spanish permeable to the distribution of their Romanian DOM and vice versa. ...
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Aims and objectives This study aims to explore the acquisition of differential object marking (DOM) of Spanish and Romanian in balanced Romanian-speaking L2 speakers of Spanish. The study is motivated by the paucity of studies analyzing bidirectional cross-linguistic influence (BCLI) in DOM. Methodology Romanian-Spanish bilinguals completed a background language questionnaire, a productive vocabulary test, an elicited production task, and an acceptability judgment task in Romanian and Spanish. Two groups of Spanish and Romanian monolinguals completed the same tasks in their languages for comparison purposes. Findings The bilinguals show signs of BCLI at their DOM in Spanish and Romanian. They may also be at an incipient stage of L1 attrition. Originality This is the first study that examines BCLI at DOM and the acquisition of DOM in Spanish by speakers of Romanian in a naturalistic setting. Significance This project highlights the importance of examining both the L1 and the L2 when examining cross-linguistic influence. Limitations This study cannot examine proficiency effects or acquisition stages because all the participants are highly proficient in Spanish.
... Some authors state that the reduction in accessibility to the L1 representations in bilinguals may be related to a lesser frequency of L1 use (e.g., weaker links hypothesis; Gollan et al., 2008). In fact, variables associated with a reduction in the L1 input such as L2 proficiency and immersion in a context where the L2 is spoken (Gollan et al., 2008;Monaghan et al., 2017) seem to moderate the changes observed in bilinguals across time in, for example, fluency and naming tasks (Linck et al., 2009;Baus et al., 2013). ...
... The author compared this group to experienced learners enrolled in the same course (Chang, 2013), and this latter group showed a reduced drift compared to their novice peers. Besides, reimmersion in the L1 environment may reverse the changes observed (Chamorro et al., 2015;Sorace, 2020), while, in other cases, the effects of the L2 contact may persist after individuals are no longer using it, and the duration of this influence diverges depending on the linguistic property under scrutiny (Linck et al., 2009). ...
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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.
... Likewise, the simultaneous allocation of attention to form and meaning, often referred to as 'divided attention,' has been shown to be particularly difficult in aural language comprehension (Wong, 2001) and can therefore be hypothesized to play a key role in L2 learning. Finally, inhibition-that is, the ability to suppress irrelevant information-has been postulated to promote L2 attainment by temporarily suppressing irrelevant linguistic information (e.g., Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009). ...
... While Masrai and Milton (2015) found L1 lexical organization to predict L2 vocabulary size in younger adult learners, Kliesch et al. (2018) used the same L1 fluency measure and age group as we did here, reporting a significant positive correlation with overall levels of L2 Leow, 2015;Robinson, 2003;Tomlin & Villa, 1994). Likewise, the ability to focus attention on the target language and inhibit all other L2s has also been linked to successful L2 acquisition in adults (Linck et al., 2009). Interestingly, in our sample, both L1 fluency and alertness-inhibition (vigilance) ...
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The question of cognition in second language (L2) acquisition later in life is of importance inasmuch as L2 learning is largely mediated by domain‐general cognitive capacities. While a number of these capacities have been shown to decline with age, individual differences in cognition increase over the lifespan. This microdevelopment study investigates the L2 trajectories of 28 older German‐speaking adults (age 64+) who participated in a combined computer‐assisted and classroom‐instructed 7‐month Spanish training for beginners. We made use of generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) to quantify linear and nonlinear learner trajectories as well as any predictors thereof. Participants were assessed on a range of behavioral, L2, socioaffective, and background variables. We found a significant (linear and nonlinear) increase across all measures of L2 proficiency. Between‐subject cognitive, socioaffective, and background variables significantly predicted the overall level of L2 proficiency as well as developmental patterns over time. Daily variances in cognitive performance and socioaffect had little impact on fluctuations in L2 performance. Findings are discussed against the backdrop of complex dynamic systems theory and highlight the necessity for dense longitudinal research designs to capture nonlinearity in third‐age L2 learning.
... Nonetheless, despite these hugely important efforts of many previous studies to conceptualize and actually define what attrition is, this question is far from being resolved. Thus, the idea of L1 disuse as a fundamental factor on attrition has been questioned by reported evidence of attrition signatures even in the case of short periods of immersion experience (or length of residency, LoR), which in turn favors the role of L2 exposure, L1-L2 interactivity and L2-induced L1-inhibition (Dussias, 2004;Dussias and Sagarra, 2007;Linck et al., 2009). Indeed, more recent debates have become focused on the influence of L2 exposure, thus going beyond the traditional consideration of attrition as a consequence of reduced L1 contact (e.g., Schmid, 2011) and highlighting the changeable L1-L2 dynamics that result in neuro-cognitive and, importantly, observable and quantifiable changes (Kasparian, 2015;Kasparian and Steinhauer, 2016;. ...
... L1 attrition has also been shown to manifest in impoverished lexical diversity (e.g., Laufer, 2003;Yilmaz and Schmid, 2012;Schmid and Jarvis, 2014). Lexico-semantic L1 attrition has been also found to be affected in the comprehension domain, e.g., with poor access to lexical representations during reading (Linck et al., 2009). One important and largely unresolved issue is whether lexico-semantic attrition effects only reflect changes in lexical access or spill into problems with semantic retrieval. ...
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This review aims at clarifying the concept of first language attrition by tracing its limits, identifying its phenomenological and contextual constraints, discussing controversies associated with its definition, and suggesting potential directions for future research. We start by reviewing different definitions of attrition as well as associated inconsistencies. We then discuss the underlying mechanisms of first language attrition and review available evidence supporting different background hypotheses. Finally, we attempt to provide the groundwork to build a unified theoretical framework allowing for generalizable results. To this end, we suggest the deployment of a rigorous neuroscientific approach, in search of neural markers of first language attrition in different linguistic domains, putting forward hypothetical experimental ways to identify attrition’s neural traces and formulating predictions for each of the proposed experimental paradigms.
... Egy másik kutatás (Neuberger 2020) nem nyelvtanulókat, hanem Németországban és az USA-ban élő magyarok fonológiai percepcióját vizsgálta, viszont nem talált nagy különbséget a magyar egynyelvűek és a célcsoport között (ez megegyezik más vizsgálatok eredményeivel: Navracsics 2015; Bátyi 2020, 2021). Linck és munkatársai (Linck et al. 2009) két angol anyanyelvű csoportot hasonlított össze, akik középszintű spanyol nyelvtudással rendelkeztek: az egyik csoport kizárólag az osztályteremben tanulta a nyelvet, míg a másik csoport 4 hónapot töltött Spanyolországban természetes nyelvi közegben (bemerítéses módszer). Az eredmények azt mutatták, hogy a két csoport közül a bemerítéses helyzetben tanulók mind a produkciós (verbális fluencia), mind pedig a megértéses (fordítási ekvivalencia percepciója) teszten rosszabbul teljesítettek az L1-en, tehát angolul. ...
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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.
... This putative inhibitory control has also been linked to bilinguals' reported increased difficulty in accessing L1 when they are immersed in their L2. Linck et al. (2009) compared L1 (English) and L2 (Spanish) verbal fluency of a study-abroad group of U.S. students in Spain and a matched group of English-speaking students learning Spanish in a U.S. classroom. Results indicated that the immersed group produced L2 words with more fluency than the classroom learners. ...
Article
Knowledge in memory is vast and not always relevant for the task at hand. Recent views suggest that our cognitive system has evolved so that it includes goal-driven control mechanisms to regulate the level of activation of specific pieces of knowledge and make distracting or unwanted information in memory less accessible. This operation is primarily directed to facilitate the use of task-relevant knowledge. However, these control processes may also have side effects on performance, even unwittingly, in a variety of situations as long as the task at hand partly relies on access to suppressed information. In this paper, we show that different types of information to be used in different contexts (problem solving, decisions on personal information or language production) may be the target of inhibitory control. We also show that the control process may leave a behavioral signature across a variety of domains if suppressed information turns out to be relevant shortly after being suppressed.
... 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. This interference is asymmetric, such that prior use of the nondominant language is especially likely to interfere with lexical access in the dominant language, a pattern that has been observed in different paradigms (e.g., Degani et al., 2020;Philipp & Koch, 2009; see Kroll et al., 2008 for review) and across longer timescales (e.g., immersion; Baus et al., 2013;Linck et al., 2009). Furthermore, in a few studies this interference was observed even when nonoverlapping materials (e.g., different pictures) were used across testing blocks, implying that bilingual language control is applied globally to the entire nontarget language (Branzi et al., 2014;Kreiner & Degani, 2015;Van Assche et al., 2013;Wodniecka et al., 2020). ...
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.
... Constant inhibition of the L1 has been found to reduce performance in the L1. This phenomenon has been observed in second language immersion paradigms (e.g., Linck et al., 2009), and can also be induced temporarily through a retrieval-induced forgetting paradigm (Levy et al., 2007). In retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF), the retrieval of one particular memory trace suppresses other competing memory traces. ...
Article
Introduction: This article presents a novel approach to anomia therapy (i.e., BAbSANT: Bilingual Abstract Semantic Associative Network Training) for bilingual persons with aphasia (B-PWA) that capitalizes both on lexico-semantic theories in bilingualism and general theories of semantic organization and learning. Based on previous work, we hypothesized that training abstract words in either language would promote within-language generalization, while training in the nondominant language would promote both within- and cross-language generalization. Methods: This case study used a single-subject A1BA2CA3 design. The participant was living with aphasia secondary to stroke and spoke both Polish and English, with Polish being his native and dominant language. Phase B consisted of abstract word training in Polish and phase C consisted of abstract word training in English. Prior to initiating therapy, in addition to a comprehensive language battery, we administered a cognitive control task to explore the relationship between cognitive control and treatment outcome. Results: We found within-language generalization regardless of the trained language, replicating previous work in monolingual persons with aphasia, further supporting the utility of training abstract words. However, contrary to our second hypothesis, cross-language generalization only occurred when the stronger language was trained. Conclusions: The discussion of the results of this case study is framed within previous work and theories of bilingualism. The lack of cross-language generalization when the weaker language was trained is discussed, taking into account nonverbal cognitive control deficits. In addition to showing the efficacy of BAbSANT, these results highlight the importance of considering cognitive control as a factor influencing therapeutic outcomes in anomia treatment in bilingual PWA.
... They were all living in the L2 environment at the time of testing. After completing the main picture-word interference task, participants were given a language history questionnaire (Tokowicz et al., 2004), an English lexical decision task (Azuma and Van Orden, 1997), a semantic verbal fluency task (Linck et al., 2009), Simon task (Bialystok et al., 2004;Linck et al., 2008), and an operation span task (Tokowicz et al., 2004) as a means to match the two bilingual groups. The results of the additional tasks describing the characteristics of the participants (the language history questionnaire) and measuring their language proficiency (the lexical decision task and the semantic verbal fluency task) and cognitive abilities/resources (the Simon task and the operation span task) are summarized in Table 1. ...
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.
... L2-immersion contexts provide a unique opportunity for examining the dynamic interplay between languages when bilinguals have restricted access to the L1. A considerable body of research has revealed a decline in L1 accessibility with increasing L2 exposure (e.g., Baus et al. 2013;Linck et al. 2009;Titone 2012, 2015), suggesting that bilinguals must exert great effort to adjust and regulate co-activation (notably, of the L1 or dominant language) to accommodate to changes in the relative support for each language. There is also evidence that bilingual regulation ability supports proficient language processing by mediating cognitive control recruitment strategies in real time. ...
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Increasing evidence suggests that bilingualism does not, in itself, result in a particular pattern of response, revealing instead a complex and multidimensional construct that is shaped by evolutionary and ecological sources of variability. Despite growing recognition of the need for a richer characterization of bilingual speakers and of the different contexts of language use, we understand relatively little about the boundary conditions of putative "bilingualism" effects. Here, we review recent findings that demonstrate how variability in the language experiences of bilingual speakers, and also in the ability of bilingual speakers to adapt to the distinct demands of different interactional contexts, impact interactions between language use, language processing, and cognitive control processes generally. Given these findings, our position is that systematic variation in bilingual language experience gives rise to a variety of phenotypes that have different patterns of associations across language processing and cognitive outcomes. The goal of this paper is thus to illustrate how focusing on systematic variation through the identification of bilingual phenotypes can provide crucial insights into a variety of performance patterns, in a manner that has implications for previous and future research.
... While few studies have focused on the processing of established loanwords, some insight on their processing can be gained from the plethora of work examining cross-language interaction in bilinguals at the lexical level. One finding that seems to be indisputable in the bilingual literature is that the two languages of a bilingual are always active (Dijkstra, Grainger, & van Heuven, 1999;Thierry & Wu, 2007;Lagrou, Hartsuiker, & Duyck, 2011;Goldrick, Putnam, & Schwartz, 2016, among many others) and influence each other during production and comprehension (Hartsuiker, Pickering, & Veltkamp, 2004;Schoonbaert, Hartsuiker, & Pickering, 2007;Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009;Torres Cacoullos & Travis, 2015;Travis, Torres Cacoullos, & Kidd, 2017). At the lexical level, this crosslanguage interaction has been demonstrated via priming (translation, semantic, and orthographic), in interlingual homographs, and -of particular importance to the present study -cognates. ...
Article
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The transfer of words from one language to another is ubiquitous in many of the world’s languages. While loanwords have a rich literature in the fields of historical linguistics, language contact, and sociolinguistics, little work has been done examining how loanwords are processed by bilinguals with knowledge of both the source and recipient languages. The present study uses pupillometry to compare the online processing of established loanwords in Puerto Rican Spanish to native Spanish words by highly proficient Puerto Rican Spanish-English bilinguals. Established loanwords elicited a significantly larger pupillary response than native Spanish words, with the pupillary response modulated by both the frequency of the loanword itself and of the native Spanish counterpart. These findings suggest that established loanwords are processed differently than native Spanish words and compete with their native equivalents, potentially due to both intra- and inter-lingual effects of saliency.
... 38-39). Recent research has shown some support for this metaphor, with a few caveats that identify critical and modulating factors such as how supportive their speech community is of the two languages (Lauchlan et al. 2013), language immersion (Baus et al. 2013;Linck et al. 2009) and whether they often code switch in daily lives (Green and Wei 2014;Schwieter and Ferreira 2016). ...
... L1-dominant bilinguals could be able to readily inhibit the influence of L1 interlingual homophones but not that of L2 interlingual homophones during the L3 lexical recognition task. In line with this tentative account, previous studies show that inhibiting the L1 is a skill bilinguals can acquire along with learning an L2 (Green, 1998;Levy et al., 2007;Linck et al., 2009). It is thus possible that differences in the N400 amplitude observed in our study can reflect the extent to which L1-dominant bilinguals were able to inhibit L1 interference more easily than L2 interference. ...
Article
This study investigated the influence of phonological word representations from both first language (L1) and second language (L2) on third language (L3) lexical learning in L1-dominant Spanish–English bilinguals. More specifically, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to determine whether L1 Spanish and L2 English phonology modulates bilinguals’ brain response to newly learned L3 Slovak words, some of which had substantial phonological overlap with either L1 or L2 words (interlingual homophones) in comparison to matched control words with little or no phonological overlap. ERPs were recorded from a group of 20 Spanish–English bilinguals in response to 120 auditory Slovak words, both before and after a three-day-long learning period during which they associated the L3 Slovak novel words with their L1 Spanish translations. Behaviorally, both L1 Spanish and L2 English homophony facilitated the learning of L3 Slovak words in a similar manner. In contrast, the electrophysiological results of the post-training ERPs, but not the pre-training ERPs, showed an N100 effect for L2 English interlingual homophones and opposite N400 effects for L1 Spanish and L2 English interlingual homophones in comparison to control words. These findings suggest different neurocognitive mechanisms in the use of L1 and L2 phonological information when learning novel words in an L3.
... Attrition shows on different levels of the L1: The lexicon, specifically, can be affected by attrition soon after the L2 learning process has begun (Linck et al. 2009;Olshtain and Barzilay 1991). However, the question to ask is whether attrition modifies actual L1 knowledge, or whether there is a change in how a subject has access to it. ...
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The present work scrutinises the topic of (near-)nativeness in Applied Linguistics (AL) and Second Language Acquisition Research (SLAR). Specifically, not only is it difficult to find a one-size-fits-all definition for the native speaker from a sociolinguistic perspective (Davies 2003, 2013), but there is also enough evidence to reconsider the monolingual native speaker used as a model for comparison in SLAR, in light of the results of L1 attrition studies: Firstly, research demonstrates that the L1 system of a bilingual speaker is influenced by the advanced knowledge of an L2 (Seliger 1991; Altenberg 1991; Chamorro et al. 2016a, 2016b); secondly, some studies point to convergence between L1 attriters and very proficient L2 learners (Tsimpli et al. 2004; Sorace and Filiaci 2006; Belletti, Bennati and Sorace 2007). The very fact that the L1 system can be rendered unstable by L2 acquisition, and that there seems to be a parallelism between L1 attrition and L2 acquisition, is used as a basis for suggesting that the traditional (monolingual) native speaker does seem to be a myth in both AL and SLAR fields, and that a bilingual native speaker model should be used as an alternative benchmark for future research.
... Mandarin and Japanese bilinguals simultaneously activate two similar language systems, and two processing departments in lemma level and lexeme level, occurring in two directions. Bilinguals demonstrate greater cognitive load in inhibition and codeswitching to select the right language to respond to complex information in language processing [39,40]. Furthermore, to inhibit unwanted behavior, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC BA9 and BA46: ch5, 9, 10, and 13) is involved in selecting the appropriate behavior [34]. ...
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Evidence shows that second language (L2) learning affects cognitive function. Here in this work, we compared brain activation in native speakers of Mandarin (L1) who speak Japanese (L2) between and within two groups (high and low L2 ability) to determine the effect of L2 ability in L1 and L2 speaking tasks, and to map brain regions involved in both tasks. The brain activation during task performance was determined using prefrontal cortex blood flow as a proxy, measured by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). People with low L2 ability showed much more brain activation when speaking L2 than when speaking L1. People with high L2 ability showed high-level brain activation when speaking either L2 or L1. Almost the same high-level brain activation was observed in both ability groups when speaking L2. The high level of activation in people with high L2 ability when speaking either L2 or L1 suggested strong inhibition of the non-spoken language. A wider area of brain activation in people with low compared with high L2 ability when speaking L2 is considered to be attributed to the cognitive load involved in code-switching L1 to L2 with strong inhibition of L1 and the cognitive load involved in using L2.
... Moreover, L1 speech displays a diminished lexical diversity (e.g., Laufer 2003;Yilmaz and Schmid 2012;Schmid and Jarvis 2014). Similarly, L1 comprehension is affected at the lexical level; for example, by way of an impaired lemma access (Linck et al. 2009). A contentious point is whether L1 attrition effects are circumscribed at the lexical access level, or precipitate into the semantic retrieval process as well. ...
Article
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The decay in the proficiency of the native language (L1), known as first language attrition, is one of the least understood phenomena associated with the acquisition of a second language (L2). Indeed, the exact cause for the deterioration in L1 performance, be that either the interference from L2 acquisition or the less frequent use of L1, still remains elusive. In this opinion paper, we focus on one largely understudied aspect of L1 attrition—namely, the erosion of the L1 orthographic knowledge under the influence of L2 orthography. In particular, we propose to study differences in orthographic processing between mono- and bilingual populations as an approach, which, in turn, will allow to address both cognitive and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying L1 attrition. We discuss relevant experimental paradigms, variable manipulations and appropriate research methods that may help disentangle the largely debated question of L2 interference vs. L1 disuse, clarifying the nature of the L1 orthographic attrition.
... The control condition was not time-limited, but its duration was measured from the time the first character was written to the time the "STOP" button was pressed. The task included three categories (the same as in (Baus, Costa & Carreiras, 2013;Linck, Kroll & Sunderman, 2009)i.e., fruits and vegetables, animals, parts of the body) that were counterbalanced across participants. The semantic fluency score was calculated as the number of exemplars (without repetitions and proper names) divided by the time spent writing a single word (i.e., the total duration of the control condition divided by the number of words generated in this condition). ...
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The multidimensionality of the bilingual experience makes the investigation of bilingualism fascinating but also challenging. Although the literature distinguishes several aspects of bilingualism, the measurement methods and the relationships between these aspects have not been clearly established. In a group of 171 relatively young Polish–English bilinguals living in their first-language environment, this study investigates the relationships between the multiple measures of bilingualism. The study shows that language entropy – an increasingly popular measure of the diversity of language use – reflects a separate aspect of the bilingual experience from language-switching and language-mixing measures. The findings also indicate that language proficiency is not a uniform aspect of the bilingual experience but a complex construct that requires appropriately comprehensive measurements. Collectively, the findings contribute to the discussion on the best practices for quantifying bilingualism.
... Indeed, compared with monolinguals in non-immersion programs, majority-language students in 90:10 DLI programs (where children in the first year of the program receive 90% exposure in the minority language) develop their L1 reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills at a slower rate (Genesee, 2004). A similar process has been observed in young adults tested 3 months into foreignlanguage immersion; whereas comprehension and production fluency increase in the L2, access to the L1 is reduced (Linck, Kroll, & Sunderman, 2009). The lag in L1 development in bilingual children might be explained by the fact that a bilingual's two languages compete for selection (Costa, Colomé, Gómez, & Sebastián-Gallés, 2003;Kroll, Bobb, & Hoshino, 2014;Marian & Spivey, 2003;Poarch & Van Hell, 2012), creating additional cognitive demands (e.g., Bialystok, 2009;Kalia et al., 2019;Poarch & van Hell, 2012). ...
Article
Dual-language immersion (DLI) experience has been linked to enhanced reading and math skills in minority- and majority-language elementary school children. However, it remains unclear whether DLI experience can also enhance executive functioning. The current study took a longitudinal approach to this question and examined the effect of DLI experience on the development of executive function skills in majority-language children over a 1-year period. In total, 33 monolingual children attending English-only classrooms (Mage = 9.17 years, SD = 1.03) and 33 English–Spanish bilingual children attending DLI classrooms (Mage = 9.27 years, SD = 0.94) matched on age, gender, nonverbal IQ, and socioeconomic status were tested twice, 1 year apart, on nonverbal measures of inhibition, shifting, switching, and monitoring. Results revealed a significant interaction between group and year only on the response inhibition task, with bilinguals showing superior inhibition in Year 1 but not in Year 2. The two groups performed equivalently on all other measures at both time points. Results suggest that classroom DLI has a minimal impact on executive functions, at least as tested in the current study.
... Although L1 verbal fluency could be thought of as a subcomponent of the complex construct of language proficiency (Hulstijn, 2011), in the Degani and Goldberg (2019) sample there was no correlation between the subjective ratings and the verbal fluency score. Verbal fluency may reflect cognitive control in addition to lexical access (Carpenter, Rao, Peñaloza & Kiran, 2020;Friesen, Luo, Luk & Bialystok, 2015), but critically it may index the availability of L1 representations at the time of learning (Linck, Kroll & Sunderman, 2009). Therefore, and because self-ratings of proficiency may be of limited range and predictive power in the L1 (Tomoschuk, Ferreira & Gollan, 2019), in the current study we focused on participants' L1 (Hebrew) verbal fluency score, as measured by a semantic fluency task (Kavé, 2005), as an index of the availability of learners' L1 representations. ...
Article
The study examined whether false-cognates, overlapping in form but not meaning across languages, are easier to learn due to form overlap, or more difficult to learn due to meaning competition, compared to unambiguous control and cognate words. Fifty-four native Hebrew speakers learned 14 cognates, 14 false-cognates, and 28 control Arabic words in one session. Cognates were learned better than control items. There was no overall difference in learning false-cognates relative to controls, but individuals with higher phonological short-term memory, or with lower L1 verbal fluency, did exhibit a false-cognate learning-advantage. For these individuals, form overlap was more influential than meaning competition. Lexical decisions to Hebrew words following Arabic learning were slower for false-cognates than controls, indicative of backward influences. The findings reveal the influence of prior knowledge on learning and processing, and highlight the importance of jointly considering item-based and learner-based characteristics during the initial stages of vocabulary learning.
... Moreover, electrophysiological studies often report ERP patterns suggestive of increased difficulty when switching from the weaker L2 to the dominant L1 (for review, see van Hell & Witteman, 2009). These findings suggest that suppressing the dominant language to facilitate the less dominant one requires more inhibitory control than vice versa (Levy et al., 2007;Linck et al., 2009;Wodniecka et al., 2020), which in turn makes subsequent reactivation of the dominant language harder (Green, 1998). ...
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Bilingualism impacts brain structure, especially in regions involved in language control and processing. However, the relation between structural brain changes and key aspects of bilingual language use is still poorly understood. Here we used structural MRI and non-linear modelling to investigate the effects of habitual code-switching (CS) practices on brain structure among Czech-English bilinguals. We studied the effects of usage frequency of various CS types (categorised by directionality and level of language separation) on the volumes of the caudate nucleus and the thalamus. Caudate volumes were positively correlated with overall CS frequency, with stronger effects for switches from L1 to L2. Thalamic volumes were positively correlated with engagement in forms of CS for which the two languages are more separate, with stronger effects for switching from L2 to L1. These results underscore the importance of using detailed measures of bilingual experiences when investigating the sources of bilingualism-induced neuroplasticity.
... With the development of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data, more innovative approaches, such as learning behavior analysis, should be used to understand the nature of VR-supported language learning. For example, there has been evidence from neuroscience research to support immersion learning for L2 acquisition [56]. Future research should not only consider learning benefits, but also examine the development or changes in higher-order thinking or abilities. ...
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Existing literature reflects that VR technology is widely used in language learning settings. Although many studies have identified the multiple benefits and affordance of Virtual Reality (VR) technologies in language learning, most studies are qualitative studies that do not provide substantial evidence to investigate the impact of this technology on language learning. To this end, this study conducted a meta-analysis of 21 quantitative studies with 1144 participants published between 2010 and 2021. The study’s main purpose was to examine the effects of VR on students’ language learning academic performance, including linguistic gains and affective gains. The results indicated that VR-assisted language learning had a medium effect on the linguistic gains (Hedges’ g = 0.662, 95% CI [0.398–0.925], p < 0.001) and affective gains (Hedges’ g = 0.570, 95% CI [0.309–0.831], p < 0.001) of students compared to non-VR conditions, respectively. Furthermore, the study further analyzed the impact of several moderator variables such as education levels, hardware types, language skills, target language, and L1/L2 on language learning gains. The research indicates that VR technology has a great potential to improve language learning as an educational resource and provides suggestions for further research and practice on the use of VR-assisted language learning.
... Studies that examined the effects of immersion education on linguistic performance have reached a relatively uniform agreement that immersion education conducted in an L2-dominant linguistic environment (e.g., study abroad) significantly improves L2 speaking proficiency (Hernández, 2010;Linck et al., 2009;Llanes & Muñoz, 2009;Segalowitz et al., 2004;Serrano et al., 2011;Tanaka & Ellis, 2003). In contrast, findings for other linguistic domains have been inconsistent (for a review see Pliatsikas & Chondrogianni, 2015). ...
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The current study examined cognitive effects of two pathways of second language (L2) acquisition longitudinally in Chinese speakers learning English in an L2-dominant environment. Thirty-nine participants who attended an intensive 10-week English course (L2-instruction group) were compared to 38 participants who attended regular university courses taught in English (L2-immersion group). Four repeated assessments were conducted over 10 weeks: pre-course (baseline) and post-course assessments, and two interim assessments every three weeks. Both groups matched on background variables (e.g., intelligence) and showed comparable cognitive performance in all measures at the baseline. The longitudinal results showed a similar improvement in both groups for most cognitive measures, such as visual and auditory inhibition. The only significant group difference was observed in the auditory inhibition test, where the L2-instruction group outperformed the L2-immersion group. Taken together, our results suggest a specific effect of language experience and an overall effect of linguistic context on cognitive functions.
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This theoretical review clarifies the concept of "language attrition " by defining the phenomenological and contextual features of its utilization, discussing the definition of contradictions, and suggesting potential directions for future research. Taking into account existing data, we regard the existing approaches to language attrition and analyze the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon. This analysis seems to be the first step in building up an integral theoretical model summarizing the available empirical data. It helps to apply a neurobiological approach, allowing to identify neural markers of language attrition at different levels of language processing and within different language categories. To this end, we propose specific experimental approaches to recording neural traces of attrition and formulate working hypotheses based on proposed experimental paradigms.
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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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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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This book presents specific methods for the physical rehabilitation, mental health restoration, and academic remediation of post-institutionalized international adoptees. The focus of the book is on the neurological, psychological, and educational consequences of complex childhood trauma in the context of a fundamental change in the social situation of development of former orphanage residents. A discussion of after-adoption traumatic experiences includes a critique of certain “conventional” approaches to the treatment of mental health issues and different disabilities in international adoptees. Using his 30-year background in research and clinical practice, the author expertly describes and analyses a range of methodologies in order to provide an integrated and practical system of “scaffolding” and “compensation” for the successful rehabilitation and remediation of children with ongoing traumatic experiences. This is essential reading for researchers and practicing clinicians concerned with childhood trauma, remedial education, and issues of international adoption.
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This book presents specific methods for the physical rehabilitation, mental health restoration, and academic remediation of post-institutionalized international adoptees. The focus of the book is on the neurological, psychological, and educational consequences of complex childhood trauma in the context of a fundamental change in the social situation of development of former orphanage residents. A discussion of after-adoption traumatic experiences includes a critique of certain “conventional” approaches to the treatment of mental health issues and different disabilities in international adoptees. Using his 30-year background in research and clinical practice, the author expertly describes and analyses a range of methodologies in order to provide an integrated and practical system of “scaffolding” and “compensation” for the successful rehabilitation and remediation of children with ongoing traumatic experiences. This is essential reading for researchers and practicing clinicians concerned with childhood trauma, remedial education, and issues of international adoption.
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The notion of complexity has been applied to descriptions and comparisons of languages and to explanations related to ease and difficulty of various linguistic phenomena in first and second language acquisition. It has been noted that compared to baseline grammars, heritage language grammars are less complex, displaying morphological simplification and structural shrinking, especially among heritage speakers with lower proficiency in the language. On some recent proposals of gender agreement in Spanish and Norwegian (Fuchs et al., 2015; Lohndal & Putnam, 2020), these differences are representational, affecting the projection of functional categories and feature specifications in the syntax. An alternative possibility is that differences between baseline and heritage grammars arise from computational considerations related to bilingualism, affecting speed of lexical access and feature reassembly online in the minority language. We illustrate this proposal with empirical data from gender agreement and differential object marking. Although presented as alternatives, the representational and computational explanations are not incompatible, and may both be adequate to capture varying levels of variability modulated by linguistic proficiency. These proposals formalize bilingual acquisition models of grammar competition and directly relate the availability and type of input (the acquisition evidence) to the locus and nature of the grammatical differences between heritage and baseline grammars.
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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.
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Resting brain (rs) activity has been shown to be a reliable predictor of the level of foreign language (L2) proficiency younger adults can achieve in a given time-period. Since rs properties change over the lifespan, we investigated whether L2 attainment in older adults (aged 64–74 years) is also predicted by individual differences in rs activity, and to what extent rs activity itself changes as a function of L2 proficiency. To assess how neuronal assemblies communicate at specific frequencies to facilitate L2 development, we examined localized and global measures (Minimum Spanning Trees) of connectivity. Results showed that central organization within the beta band (~ 13–29.5 Hz) predicted measures of L2 complexity, fluency and accuracy, with the latter additionally predicted by a left-lateralized centro-parietal beta network. In contrast, reduced connectivity in a right-lateralized alpha (~ 7.5–12.5 Hz) network predicted development of L2 complexity. As accuracy improved, so did central organization in beta, whereas fluency improvements were reflected in localized changes within an interhemispheric beta network. Our findings highlight the importance of global and localized network efficiency and the role of beta oscillations for L2 learning and suggest plasticity even in the ageing brain. We interpret the findings against the background of networks identified in socio-cognitive processes.
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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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A goal of second language (L2) learning is to enable learners to understand and speak L2 words without mediation through the first language (L1). However, psycholinguistic research suggests that lexical candidates are routinely activated in L1 when words in L2 are processed. In this article we describe two experiments that examined the acquisition of L2 lexical fluency. In Experiment 1, two groups of native English speakers, one more and one less fluent in French as their L2, performed word naming and translation tasks. Learners were slower and more error prone to name and to translate words into L2 than more fluent bilinguals. However, there was also an asymmetry in translation performance such that forward translation was slower than backward translation. Learners were also slower than fluent bilinguals to name words in English, the L1 of both groups. In Experiment 2, we compared the performance of native English speakers at early stages of learning French or Spanish to the performance of fluent bilinguals on the same tasks. The goal was to determine whether the apparent cost to L1 reading was a consequence of L2 learning or a reflection of differences in cognitive abilities between learners and bilinguals. Experiment 2 replicated the main features of Experiment 1 and showed that bilinguals scored higher than learners on a measure of L1 reading span, but that this difference did not account for the apparent cost to L1 naming.We consider the implications of these results for models of the developing lexicon.
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Three experiments looked for the determinants of performance in 3 versions of the word-translation task. Exp 1 contained the normal-translation version and the cued-translation version. In Exp 2, Ss performed the translation-recognition task. In both experiments, word frequency and word imageability were manipulated. Both affected performance in all 3 versions of the task. In Exp 3 (normal translation), in addition to the effects of frequency and imageability, those of context availability, cognate status, definition accuracy, length of the stimulus words and of their translations, and familiarity were studied. All of them correlated with the performance measures, but only 4 variables accounted for unique translation variance: the frequency of the stimulus word, the frequency of the response word, cognate status, and context availability. These results are discussed in terms of bilingual memory structure. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This study places the predictions of the bilingual interactive activation model (Dijkstra & Van Heuven, 1998) and the revised hierarchical model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994) in the same context to investigate lexical processing in a second language (L2). The performances of two groups of native English speakers, one less proficient and the other more proficient in Spanish, were compared on translation recognition. In this task, participants decided whether two words, one in each language, are translation equivalents. The items in the critical conditions were not translation equivalents and therefore required a “no” response, but were similar to the correct translation in either form or meaning. For example, for translation equivalents such as cara-face, critical distracters included (a) a form-related neighbor to the first word of the pair (e.g., cara-card), (b) a form-related neighbor to the second word of the pair, the translation equivalent (cara-fact), or (c) a meaning-related word (cara-head). The results showed that all learners, regardless of proficiency, experienced interference for lexical neighbors and for meaning-related pairs. However, only the less proficient learners also showed effects of form relatedness via the translation equivalent. Moreover, all participants were sensitive to cues to grammatical class, such that lexical interference was reduced or eliminated when the two words of each pair were drawn from different grammatical classes. We consider the implications of these results for L2 lexical processing and for models of the bilingual lexicon. a
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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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An eye tracking experiment examined how exposure to a second language (L2) influences sentence parsing in the first language. Forty-four monolingual Spanish speakers, 24 proficient SpanishEnglish bilinguals with extensive L2 immersion experience read temporarily ambiguous constructions. The ambiguity concerned whether a relative clause (RC) that appeared after a complex noun phrase (NP) was interpreted as modifying the first or the second noun in the complex NP (Elpolicíaarrestóalahermanadelcriadoqueestabaenfermadesdehacíatiempo). The results showed that whereas the Spanish monolingual speakers and the SpanishEnglish bilingual with extensive exposure attached the relative to the second noun. Results are discussed in terms of models of sentence parsing most consistent with the findings.
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1 This report was written for the Second Training Meeting of the EU Marie Curie Research Training Network: Language and Brain (Oviedo, Spain, April 2007), financed by the European Union. The report may be distributed freely for educational and research purposes. It does have copyright, though, meaning that you cannot present it as your own work. If you found this paper helpful in the analysis of your data, it would be kind to acknowledge so by citing it using the form: Brysbaert, M. (2007). "The language-as-fixed-effect fallacy": Some simple SPSS solutions to a complex problem (Version 2.0). Royal Holloway, University of London. The report is available on the internet. 2 This ms is an improved version of a previous draft that was sent for consultation to colleagues and that (sadly) included a few errors.
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Simultaneous interpreting is a complex skill in which language comprehension and production take place at the same time in two languages. In this study, we examined performance on basic language and working memory tasks that have been hypothesized to engage cognitive skills important for simultaneous interpreting. The participants were native Dutch speakers proficient in English as a second language. We compared the performance of trained interpreters to bilingual university students (Experiment 1) and to highly proficient English teachers (Experiment 2). The interpreters outperformed the university students in their speed and accuracy of language performance and on their memory capacity estimated from a set of (working) memory measures. The interpreters also outperformed the English teachers, but only on the memory tasks, suggesting that performance on the language tasks was determined by proficiency more than cognitive resources. Taken together, these data point to (working) memory as a critical subskill for simultaneous interpreting.
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Many recent studies demonstrate that both languages are active when bilinguals and second language (L2) learners are reading, listening, or speaking one language only. The parallel activity of the two languages has been hypothesized to create competition that must be resolved. Models of bilingual lexical access have proposed an inhibitory control mechanism to effectively limit attention to the intended language (e.g., Green, 1998). Critically, other recent research suggests that a lifetime of experience as a bilingual negotiating the competition across the two languages confers a set of benefits to cognitive control processes more generally (e.g., Bialystok, Craik, Klein, & Viswanathan, 2004). However, few studies have examined the consequences of individual differences in inhibitory control for performance on language processing tasks. The goal of the present work was to determine whether there is a relation between enhanced executive function and performance for L2 learners and bilinguals on lexical comprehension and production tasks. Data were analyzed from two studies involving a range of language processing tasks, a working memory measure, and also the Simon task, a nonlinguistic measure of inhibitory control. The results demonstrate that greater working memory resources and enhanced inhibitory control are related to a reduction in cross-language activation in a sentence context word naming task and a picture naming task, respectively. Other factors that may be related to inhibitory control are identified. The implications of these results for models of bilingual lexical comprehension and production are discussed.
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Speech-sign or "bimodal" bilingualism is exceptional because distinct modalities allow for simultaneous production of two languages. We investigated the ramifications of this phenomenon for models of language production by eliciting language mixing from eleven hearing native users of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Instead of switching between languages, bilinguals frequently produced code-blends (simultaneously produced English words and ASL signs). Code-blends resembled co-speech gesture with respect to synchronous vocal-manual timing and semantic equivalence. When ASL was the Matrix Language, no single-word code-blends were observed, suggesting stronger inhibition of English than ASL for these proficient bilinguals. We propose a model that accounts for similarities between co-speech gesture and code-blending and assumes interactions between ASL and English Formulators. The findings constrain language production models by demonstrating the possibility of simultaneously selecting two lexical representations (but not two propositions) for linguistic expression and by suggesting that lexical suppression is computationally more costly than lexical selection.
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Bilinguals named pictures in their dominant language more slowly (and with more errors) than did monolinguals. In contrast, bilinguals named the same pictures as quickly as did monolinguals on the fifth presentation (in Experiment 2) and classified them (as human made or natural) as quickly and accurately as did monolinguals (in Experiment 1). In addition, bilinguals retrieved English picture names more quickly if they knew the name in both Spanish and English (on the basis of a translation test that bilinguals completed after the timed tasks), and monolingual response times for the same materials suggested that this finding was not obtained simply because names that were easier to translate were easier in general. These findings suggest that bilinguals differ from monolinguals at a postconceptual processing level, that implicit activation of lexical representations in the nontarget language can facilitate retrieval in the target language, and that being bilingual is analogous to having a lexicon full of lower frequency words, relative to monolinguals.
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Two studies are reported that assess differences associated with aging and bilingualism in an executive control task. Previous work has suggested that bilinguals have an advantage over monolinguals in nonlinguistic tasks involving executive control; the major purpose of the present article is to ascertain which aspects of control are sensitive to the bilingual experience. Study 1 used an antisaccade task and found no effects of aging or bilingualism. Study 2 used the identical visual display but coupled to keypress responses. The results showed that bilinguals resolved various types of response conflict faster than monolinguals and that this bilingual advantage generally increased with age. A speculative interpretation of this pattern of results is offered in conclusion.
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After immersion in a foreign language, speakers often have difficulty retrieving native-language words--a phenomenon known as first-language attrition. We propose that first-language attrition arises in part from the suppression of native-language phonology during second-language use, and thus is a case of phonological retrieval-induced forgetting. In two experiments, we investigated this hypothesis by having native English speakers name visual objects in a language they were learning (Spanish). Repeatedly naming the objects in Spanish reduced the accessibility of the corresponding English words, as measured by an independent-probe test of inhibition. The results establish that the phonology of the words was inhibited, as access to the concepts underlying the presented objects was facilitated, not impaired. More asymmetry between English and Spanish fluency was associated with more inhibition for native-language words. This result supports the idea that inhibition plays a functional role in overcoming interference during the early stages of second-language acquisition.
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The use of multilevel modeling is presented as an alternative to separate item and subject ANOVAs (F 1 ×F 2) in psycholinguistic research. Multilevel modeling is commonly utilized to model variability arising from the nesting of lower level observations within higher level units (e.g., students within schools, repeated measures within individuals). However, multilevel models can also be used when two random factors are crossed at the same level, rather than nested. The current work illustrates the use of the multilevel model for crossed random effects within the context of a psycholinguistic experimental study, in which both subjects and items are modeled as random effects within the same analysis, thus avoiding some of the problems plaguing current approaches.
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It has been claimed that bilingualism enhances inhibitory control, but the available evidence is equivocal. The authors evaluated several possible versions of the inhibition hypothesis by comparing monolinguals and bilinguals with regard to stop signal performance, inhibition of return, and the attentional blink. These three phenomena, it can be argued, tap into different aspects of inhibition. Monolinguals and bilinguals did not differ in stop signal reaction time and thus were comparable in terms of active-inhibitory efficiency. However, bilinguals showed no facilitation from spatial cues, showed a strong inhibition of return effect, and exhibited a more pronounced attentional blink. These results suggest that bilinguals do not differ from monolinguals in terms of active inhibition but have acquired a better ability to maintain action goals and to use them to bias goal-related information. Under some circumstances, this ability may indirectly lead to more pronounced reactive inhibition of irrelevant information.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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In this paper we review recent research on experimental psycholinguistic approaches to the bilingual lexicon. The focus in this work is to understand how it is that lexical access in both comprehension and production is fundamentally nonselective with respective to language, yet bilinguals are able to control the use of their two languages with relatively high accuracy. We first illustrate the nature of the data that support the claims of nonselectivity and then consider some of the factors that may modulate the resulting cross-language competition. These include differences in lexical parsing strategies across languages, in lexical cues that signal one language rather than another, in the ability to allocate cognitive resources, and in the nature of the tasks that initiate spoken production. We argue that the competitive nature of processing across the two languages of the bilingual provides an exquisite model to examine cognitive activity and its control.
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Three experiments are reported in which picture naming and bilingual translation were performed in the context of semantically categorized or randomized lists. In Experiments 1 and 3 picture naming and bilingual translation were slower in the categorized than randomized conditions. In Experiment 2 this category interference effect in picture naming was eliminated when picture naming alternated with word naming. Taken together, the results of the three experiments suggest that in both picture naming and bilingual translation a conceptual representation of the word or picture is used to retrieve a lexical entry in one of the speaker's languages. When conceptual activity is sufficiently great to activate a multiple set of corresponding lexical representations, interference is produced in the process of retrieving a single best lexical candidate as the name or translation. The results of Experiment 3 showed further that category interference in bilingual translation occurred only when translation was performed from the first language to the second language, suggesting that the two directions of translation engage different interlanguage connections. A model to account for the asymmetric mappings of words to concepts in bilingual memory is described. (C) 1994 Academic Press, Inc.
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The collection of essays on second language learning during study abroad includes: "Language Learning and Study Abroad" (Barbara F. Freed); "Predictors of Foreign Language Gain During Study Abroad" (Richard D. Brecht, Dan E. Davidson, Ralph B. Ginsberg); "A Canadian Interprovincial Exchange: Evaluating the Linguistic Impact of a Three-Month Stay in Quebec" (Sharon Lapkin, Doug Hart, Merrill Swain); "Getting Into, Through and Out of a Survival Situation: A Comparison of Communicative Strategies Used by Students Studying Spanish Abroad and 'At Home'" (Barbara A. Lafford); "What Makes Us Think that Students Who Study Abroad Become Fluent?" (Barbara F. Freed); "The Peace Corps Experience: Language Learning in Training and in the Field" (Gail Guntermann); "The Effects of Overseas Language Programs: Report on a Case Study of an Intensive Japanese Course" (Thom Huebner); "The Acquisition of Politeness Patterns by Exchange Students in Japan" (Helen Marriott); "Individual Differences and Study Abroad: Women Learning Japanese in Japan" (Meryl Siegal); "The Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Native Speech Norms: Effects of a Year Abroad on Second Language Learners of French" (Vera Regan); "Language Learning and Living Abroad: Stories from the Field" (Livia Polanyi); "Folklinguistic Theories of Language Learning" (Laura Miller, Ralph B. Ginsberg); and "On the Value for Formal Instruction in Study Abroad: Student Reactions in Context" (Richard D. Brecht, Jennifer L. Robinson). (MSE)
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In an experimental study of language switching and selection, bilinguals named numerals in either their first or second language unpredictably. Response latencies (RTs) on switch trials (where the response language changed from the previous trial) were slower than on nonswitch trials. As predicted, the language-switching cost was consistently larger when switching to the dominant L₁ from the weaker L₂ than vice versa such that, on switch trials, L₁ responses were slower than in L₂. This "paradoxical" asymmetry in the cost of switching languages is explained in terms of differences in relative strength of the bilingual's two languages and the involuntary persistence of the previous language set across an intended switch of language. Naming in the weaker language, L₂, requires active inhibition or suppression of the stronger competitor language, L₁; the inhibition persists into the following (switch) trial in the form of "negative priming" of the L₁ lexicon as a whole. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
During early stages of second language acquisition adult learners make frequent errors of lexical form. An experiment was performed to examine this effect in the laboratory. More and less fluent bilinguals in English and Spanish performed a translation recognition task in which they decided whether the second of two words was the correct translation of the first. In the critical conditions of the experiment the words were not correct translation equivalents, but related by lexical form (e.g., man-hambre (hunger) instead of man-hombre (man)) or by meaning (e.g., man-mujer (woman) instead of man-hombre (man)). Less fluent participants suffered more interference for form-related than for semantically related words relative to unrelated controls, but the reverse pattern held for more fluent participants. The results support a progression from reliance on word form to reliance on meaning with increasing proficiency in the second language. The performance of the more fluent bilinguals further suggests that the ability to retrieve semantic information directly for second-language words can potentially override some of the costs associated with lexical competition in languages that access shared lexical features.
Article
The paper opens with an evaluation of the BIA model of bilingual word recognition in the light of recent empirical evidence. After pointing out problems and omissions, a new model, called the BIA+, is proposed. Structurally, this new model extends the old one by adding phonological and semantic lexical representations to the available orthographic ones, and assigns a different role to the so-called language nodes. Furthermore, it makes a distinction between the effects of non-linguistic context (such as instruction and stimulus list composition) and linguistic context (such as the semantic and syntactic effects of sentence context), based on a distinction between the word identification system itself and a task/decision system that regulates control. At the end of the paper, the generalizability of the BIA+ model to different tasks and modalities is discussed.
Article
Most work investigating the role of convergence in situations of language attrition has focused on the morpho-syntactic restructuring of the dying language variety. A central concern of such research has been untangling the factors driving the restructuring with an eye towards establishing whether the changes observed are best viewed as externally driven or, by contrast, as internally motivated. A second and equally important concern of this research attempts to define the domains of the linguistic system that may be the most permeable to external influence. The present study provides a contribution to this line of research and sheds light on its two leading concerns from the domain of phonology and phonetics. Specifically, we present the results of an instrumental study of the phonological vowel system of Frenchville French and argue that this linguistic variety is undergoing a perceptually striking process of phonetic convergence with English that is motivated by the auditory and acoustic similarity between a subset of vowels in the contact languages. An interesting consequence of our analysis is that bilingual phonologies may become particularly permeable to inter-linguistic influence precisely where they are acoustically and perceptually unstable, and where they are already congruent to some degree.
Article
This study investigates whether proficient second language (L2) speakers of Spanish and English use the same parsing strategies as monolinguals when reading temporarily ambiguous sentences containing a complex noun phrase followed by a relative clause, such as Peter fell in love with the daughter of the psychologist who studied in California . Research with monolingual Spanish and English speakers (e.g., Cuetos & Mitchell, 1988) has suggested that, whereas English speakers show a bias to interpret the relative clause locally (i.e., to attach the relative clause to the noun immediately preceding it), Spanish speakers reading Spanish equivalents of English sentences attach the relative clause to the first noun in the complex noun phrase (i.e., nonlocal attachment). In this study, I assess whether speakers whose native language (L1) and L2 differ with respect to processing strategies were able to employ each strategy in the correct context. To this end, L1 Spanish–L2 English and L1 English–L2 Spanish speakers read ambiguous sentences in their L1 and L2. Data collection was carried out using a pencil-and-paper questionnaire and a self-paced reading task. Analyses of both sets of data revealed that both groups of speakers favored local over nonlocal attachment when reading in their L1 and L2. The results are discussed in the context of models that assume the existence of a fixed, universal set of parsing strategies. The implications of L2 parsing research for the field of SLA are also discussed.
Article
This paper aims to foster discussion of the means by which bilinguals control their two language systems. It proposes an inhibitory control (IC) model that embodies the principle that there are multiple levels of control. In the model a language task schema (modulated by a higher level of control) “reactively” inhibits potential competitors for production at the lemma level by virtue of their language tags. The IC model is used to expand the explanation of the effect of category blocking in translation proposed by Kroll and Stewart (1994), and predictions of the model are tested against other data. Its relationship to other proposals and models is considered and future directions proposed.
Article
This study examined the variables related to US immigrants' long-term attainment in English, their second language (L2), and their native language (L1). For 44 Mandarin-English bilinguals, with increasing age of arrival (AOA) in the United States, their accuracy in L2 grammatically judgment tasks decreased and accuracy in an L1 grammatically judgment task increased. Moreover, both AOA in the United States and mothers' English proficiency uniquely predicted a significant proportion of the variance for bilinguals' L2 proficiency. Finally, as a group, 72 speakers of three Asian languages showed lower levels of L2 proficiency and stronger AOA effects on the task performance than 32 speakers of six European languages. These differences in language proficiency were associated with differences in language use, language learning motivation, and cultural identification between the two groups. These findings suggest that L2 acquisition in the immigration setting is a complicated process involving the dynamic interactions of multiple variables.
Article
Two eye-tracking experiments examined spoken language processing in Russian-English bilinguals. The proportion of looks to objects whose names were phonologically similar to the name of a target object in either the same language (within-language competition), the other language (between-language competition), or both languages at the same time (simultaneous competition) was compared to the proportion of looks in a control condition in which no objects overlapped phonologically with the target. Results support previous findings of parallel activation of lexical items within and between languages, but suggest that the magnitude of the between-language competition effect may vary across first and second languages and may be mediated by a number of factors such as stimuli, language background, and language mode.
Article
Despite an impressive psycholinguistic effort to explore the way in which two or more languages are represented and controlled, controversy surrounds both issues. We argue that problems of representation and control are intimately connected and we propose that data from functional neuroimaging may advance a resolution. Neuroimaging data, we argue, support the notion that the neural representation of a second language converges with the representation of that language learned as a first language and that language production in bilinguals is a dynamic process involving cortical and subcortical structures that make use of inhibition to resolve lexical competition and to select the intended language.
Article
If different languages map words onto referents in different ways, bilinguals must either (a) learn and maintain separate mappings for their two languages or (b) merge them and not be fully native-like in either. We replicated and extended past findings of cross-linguistic differences in word-to-referent mappings for common household objects using Belgian monolingual speakers of Dutch and French. We then examined word-to-referent mappings in Dutch–French bilinguals by comparing the way they named in their two languages. We found that the French and Dutch bilingual naming patterns converged on a common naming pattern, with only minor deviations. Through the mutual influence of the two languages, the category boundaries in each language move towards one another and hence diverge from the boundaries used by the native speakers of either language. Implications for the organization of the bilingual lexicon are discussed.
Article
Lenneberg (1967) hypothesized that language could be acquired only within a critical period, extending from early infancy until puberty. In its basic form, the critical period hypothesis need only have consequences for first language acquisition. Nevertheless, it is essential to our understanding of the nature of the hypothesized critical period to determine whether or not it extends as well to second language acquisition. If so, it should be the case that young children are better second language learners than adults and should consequently reach higher levels of final proficiency in the second language. This prediction was tested by comparing the English proficiency attained by 46 native Korean or Chinese speakers who had arrived in the United States between the ages of 3 and 39, and who had lived in the United States between 3 and 26 years by the time of testing. These subjects were tested on a wide variety of structures of English grammar, using a grammaticality judgment task. Both correlational and t-test analyses demonstrated a clear and strong advantage for earlier arrivals over the later arrivals. Test performance was linearly related to age of arrival up to puberty; after puberty, performance was low but highly variable and unrelated to age of arrival. This age effect was shown not to be an inadvertent result of differences in amount of experience with English, motivation, self-consciousness, or American identification. The effect also appeared on every grammatical structure tested, although the structures varied markedly in the degree to which they were well mastered by later learners. The results support the conclusion that a critical period for language acquisition extends its effects to second language acquisition.
Article
Two experiments demonstrated the existence of a strong population stereotype which affected the processing of verbal commands. In a choice RT task, Ss pressed the right- or left-hand key in response to the words "right" or "left" which were presented to the right or left ear. RT was significantly faster when the content of the command corresponded to the ear stimulated than when it did not, i.e., information processing was affected by a cue irrelevant to the task itself, the ear in which the command was heard. Removing S's uncertainty regarding the ear to be stimulated resulted in significantly faster RT, and reduced but did not eliminate the effect of the irrelevant directional cue.
Article
Ninety-four subjects were tested on the Daneman and Carpenter (1980) reading span task, four versions of a related sentence span task in which reaction times and accuracy on sentence processing were measured along with sentence-final word recall, two number generation tasks designed to test working memory, digit span, and two shape-generation tasks designed to measure visual-spatial working memory. Forty-four subjects were retested on a subset of these measures at a 3-month interval. All subjects were tested on standard vocabulary and reading tests. Correlational analyses showed better internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the sentence span tasks than of the Daneman-Carpenter reading span task. Factor analysis showed no factor that could be related to a central verbal working memory; rotated factors suggested groupings of tests into factors that correspond to digit-related tasks, spatial tasks, sentence processing in sentence span tasks, and recall in sentence span tasks. Correlational analyses and regression analyses showed that the sentence processing component of the sentence span tasks was the best predictor of performance on the reading test, with a small independent contribution of the recall component. The results suggest that sentence span tasks are unreliable unless measurements are made of both their sentence processing and recall components, and that the predictive value of these tasks for reading comprehension abilities lies in the overlap of operations rather than in limitations in verbal working memory that apply to both.
Article
Spanish-English bilinguals and English monolinguals completed 12 semantic, 10 letter, and 2 proper name fluency categories. Bilinguals produced fewer exemplars than monolinguals on all category types, but the difference between groups was larger (and more consistent) on semantic categories. Bilinguals and monolinguals produced the same number of errors across all category types. The authors discuss 2 accounts of the similarities and differences between groups and the interaction with category type, including (a) cross-language interference and (b) relatively weak connections in the bilingual lexical system because of reduced use of words specific to each language. Surprisingly, bilinguals' fluency scores did not improve when they used words in both languages. This result suggests that voluntary language switching incurs a processing cost.
Article
This study used data from 220 adults to examine the relations among 3 inhibition-related functions. Confirmatory factor analysis suggested that Prepotent Response Inhibition and Resistance to Distractor Interference were closely related, but both were unrelated to Resistance to Proactive Interference. Structural equation modeling, which combined Prepotent Response Inhibition and Resistance to Distractor Interference into a single latent variable, indicated that 1 aspect of random number generation performance, task-switching ability, and everyday cognitive failures were related to Response-Distractor Inhibition, whereas reading span recall and unwanted intrusive thoughts were related to Resistance to Proactive Interference. These results suggest that the term inhibition has been overextended and that researchers need to be more specific when discussing and measuring inhibition-related functions.
Article
The need of bilinguals to continuously control two languages during speech production may exert general effects on their attentional networks. To explore this issue we compared the performance of bilinguals and monolinguals in the attentional network task (ANT) developed by Fan et al. [Fan, J., McCandliss, B.D. Sommer, T., Raz, A., Posner, M.I. (2002). Testing the efficiency and independence of attentional networks. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14, 340-347]. This task is supposed to tap into three different attentional networks: alerting, orienting and executive control. The results revealed that bilingual participants were not only faster in performing the task, but also more efficient in the alerting and executive control networks. In particular, bilinguals were aided more by the presentation of an alerting cue, and were also better at resolving conflicting information. Furthermore, bilinguals experienced a reduced switching cost between the different type of trials compared to monolinguals. These results show that bilingualism exerts an influence in the attainment of efficient attentional mechanisms by young adults that are supposed to be at the peak of their attentional capabilities.
Article
Bilinguals are faster to name a picture in one language when the picture's name is a cognate in the other language. We asked whether cognate facilitation in picture naming would be obtained for bilinguals whose two languages differ in script. Spanish-English and Japanese-English bilinguals named cognate and noncognate pictures in English, their second language (L2). Cognate facilitation was observed for both groups. The results suggest that there is cross-language activation of phonology even for different-script bilinguals.
Article
Although bilinguals rarely make random errors of language when they speak, research on spoken production provides compelling evidence to suggest that both languages are active when only one language is spoken (e.g., [Poulisse, N. (1999). Slips of the tongue: Speech errors in first and second language production. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins]). Moreover, the parallel activation of the two languages appears to characterize the planning of speech for highly proficient bilinguals as well as second language learners. In this paper, we first review the evidence for cross-language activity during single word production and then consider the two major alternative models of how the intended language is eventually selected. According to language-specific selection models, both languages may be active but bilinguals develop the ability to selectively attend to candidates in the intended language. The alternative model, that candidates from both languages compete for selection, requires that cross-language activity be modulated to allow selection to occur. On the latter view, the selection mechanism may require that candidates in the nontarget language be inhibited. We consider the evidence for such an inhibitory mechanism in a series of recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies.