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Language non-selective syntactic activation in early bilinguals: the effect of verbal fluency

Sanoudaki, E. and Thierry, G. (2015) Language non-selective syntactic activation in early bilinguals: the effect of verbal fluency. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18 (5). pp. 548-560. DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2015.1027143

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Abstract

Numerous studies have shown that bilinguals presented with words in one of their languages spontaneously and automatically activate lexical representations from their other language. However, such effects, found in varied experimental contexts, both in behavioural and psychophysiological investigations, have been essentially limited to the lexical-semantic domain. Using brain potentials in a mental decision task in early highly proficient Welsh�English bilinguals and English monolingual controls, a recent study suggests that language non-selective effects exist in the domain of syntax. In this paper, we test whether syntactic access in bilinguals is affected by relative language abilities, as indexed by verbal fluency measures in the bilingual's two languages. Results reveal that non-selective syntax in English sentence comprehension is limited to bilinguals with higher Welsh verbal fluency. This result suggests for the first time directionality in cross-language syntactic activation in early bilinguals.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Linguistics and English Language
College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2015 02:35
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2016 02:54
ISSN: 1367-0050
Publisher's Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, April 2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/DOI 10.1080/13670050.2015.1027143.
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/4889
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2015.1027143
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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