Chapter published in:Code-switching – Experimental Answers to Theoretical Questions: In honor of Kay González-Vilbazo
Edited by Luis López
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 19] 2018
► pp. 177–194
Event-related potentials reveal evidence for syntactic co-activation in bilingual language processing
A replication of Sanoudaki and Thierry (2014, 2015)
A critical question about bilingualism is how two or more languages are processed in the bilingual mind (e.g., Kroll, Bobb, & Hoshino, 2014). Previous research shows that bilinguals’ languages interact, at least at the lexical and phonological levels. Relatively little research has addressed whether this occurs at the syntactic level during sentence processing. One event-related potential study with Welsh-English bilinguals showed co-activation of syntactic properties of one language that affected processing of the other language (Sanoudaki & Thierry, 2014, 2015). The current study replicates Sanoudaki and Thierry with Spanish-English bilinguals, and the results largely reproduce their findings of syntactic co-activation during sentence processing. These converging results have implications for theories about bilingual language processing regarding how syntax may interact in the bilingual mind.
Keywords: bilingualism, language processing, syntax, co-activation, N200, response-inhibition, event-related potentials
Published online: 16 November 2018
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