Language selection errors in switching: Language priming or cognitive control?
SourceLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33, 2, (2018), pp. 139-147
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC PL
Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Psycholinguistics
Although bilingual speakers are very good at selectively using one language rather than another, sometimes language selection errors occur. We examined the relative contribution of top-down cognitive control and bottom-up language priming to these errors. Unbalanced Dutch-English bilinguals named pictures and were cued to switch between languages under time pressure. We also manipulated the number of same-language trials before a switch (long vs. short runs). Results show that speakers made more language selection errors when switching from their second language (L2) to the first language (L1) than vice versa. Furthermore, they made more errors when switching to the L1 after a short compared to a long run of L2 trials. In the reverse switching direction (L1 to L2), run length had no effect. These findings are most compatible with an account of language selection errors that assigns a strong role to top-down processes of cognitive control.
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