Cognitive Processing in Bilinguals by Richard Jackson Harris (Eds.)

By Richard Jackson Harris (Eds.)

This number of 33 papers represents the most up-tp-date considering andresearch at the examine of cognitive processing in bilingual contributors. Thecontributors comprise recognized figures within the box and promising newscholars, representing 4 continents and paintings in dozens of languages.Instead of the social, political, or academic implications ofbilingualism, the focal point is on how bilingual humans (mostly adults) thinkand method language.

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It is assumed the effect results from additive activations of the same representation in memory. Meanwhile, a lack of repetition effect across translation equivalents indicates the existence of separate memory stores. The results of these experiments are surprising when compared to the recall and transfer of learning research. Kirsner, Brown, Abrol, Chandra and Sharma (1980) found that subjects responded significantly faster on the second presentation of words which were within-language repetitions, but found no difference in response speed when the repetition was a translation equivalent.

Bilinguals, in contrast to monolinguals, judged nonwords based on Lithuanian sound sequences to be acceptable for an English community. Altenberg and Cairns (1983) reported a similar experiment with the same results. Guttentag, Haith, Goodman and Hauch (1984) asked subjects to match tachistoscopically presented words to categories, while ignoring flanker words which were either in the same language as the target words or in the other language. Results indicated the flanker words influenced the subjects’ response times in both the same-language and differentlanguage conditions.

Ransdell and Fischler (1987) tested monolingual and bilingual subjects in their first language only and found much less dramatic differences than did Miigiste. However, bilinguals were slower at recognizing words and making lexical decisions. The authors concluded these differences occurred because the tasks were data-driven (see discussion of Durgunoglu and Roediger in previous section). They suggested, as did Magiste, that bilinguals are at a disadvantage on data-driven tasks because they spend less time processing words in their first language.

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