Bilingual Language Production: Shared or Separate Processing?


Language production processes have recently been of interest to many psycholinguistic researchers. While human beings are able to acquire multiple languages at the same time, this has pointed to the fact that different mental cognitive processes may be involved in multilingual language production. An existing debate in bilingual research is the question whether the mental linguistic representations in bilinguals are governed by a separate or shared processing mechanism (Kecskes, 2006; Poulisse & Bongaerts, 1994; Riehl, 2005). While this controversy may involve a broad scope of discussion, it has indeed provided a solid basis for the subsequent empirical research to further document bilingual speakers’ speech processing, such as code-switching (Azuma & Meier, 1997; Kecskes, 2006; Kootstra, Hell, & Dijkstra, 2012; Meuter & Allport, 1999; Poulisse & Bongaerts, 1994; Riehl, 2005), neural laterality (Hull & Vaid, 2007), or executive function (Bialystok & DePape, 2009). While previous research has mostly been interested in the bilingual code-switching phenomenon (e.g. Hartsuiker et al., 2004), it has been unclear whether there is a difference in the mental representations of bilinguals, who differed in the age of acquisition (AOA) of the second language, given the fact that language proficiency is positively associated with the degree of code-switching and structural priming (Chen & Ng, 1989; Kecskes, 2006; Kootstra et al., 2012). Thus, the purpose of this paper is not only to review the current state of bilingual speech production research but also to examine whether AOA influences early/late bilinguals’ speech production representations and its processing structure.

Author Information
Daniel Chang, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: IICSSHawaii2017
Stream: Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences

This paper is part of the IICSSHawaii2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon