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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Academic Paper


Title: Inhibitory control predicts language switching performance in trilingual speech production
Author: Jared A. Linck
Institution: University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language
Author: John W. Schwieter
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Wilfrid Laurier University
Author: Gretchen Sunderman
Institution: Florida State University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
French
Spanish
Abstract: This study investigated the role of domain-general inhibitory control in trilingual speech production. Taking an individual differences approach, we examined the relationship between performance on a non-linguistic measure of inhibitory control (the Simon task) and a multilingual language switching task for a group of fifty-six native English (L1) speakers learning French (L2) and Spanish (L3). Better inhibitory control was related to reduced switch costs, but only when switching into or out of the more dominant L1, where inhibitory control has been theorized to be most important (Green, 1998). The results provide evidence of a direct link between inhibitory control abilities and language switching capabilities, and suggest constraints on the conditions under which a domain-general inhibitory control mechanism supports language switching.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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