On the role of language membership information during word recognition in bilinguals: Evidence from flanker-language congruency effects
According to some bilingual language comprehension models (e.g., BIA), language membership information has a direct influence on word processing. However, this idea is not shared by all models (e.g., BIA+). To investigate this matter, we manipulated the language membership of irrelevant flanking words while French–English bilinguals performed a lexical decision task on centrally located target words and nonwords. The target words were either French or English words, flanked by words that were either in the same language as the target (language congruent) or in the other language (language incongruent). We found that lexical decisions to the target words were harder in the language-incongruent condition, indicating that language membership information was extracted from the flanking words and that this affected identification of the central target words, as predicted by the architecture of the BIA model.
KeywordsBilingualism Language membership Word recognition Flanker task
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