English monolinguals and highly proficient, but first language (L1)-dominant, Spanish-English and Chinese-English bilinguals made rhyme judgments of visually presented English word pairs while behavioral and EEG measures were being recorded. Two types of conditions were considered: rhyming and nonrhyming pairs that were orthographically dissimilar (e.g. white-fight, child-cough) and those that were orthographically similar (e.g. right-fight, dough-cough). Both native and non-native English speakers were faster and more accurate in responding to nonrhyming than rhyming targets under orthographically dissimilar conditions, although the response times of Chinese-English bilinguals differed from those of the other groups. All groups were slower and less accurate in responding to nonrhyming targets under orthographically similar conditions, with the response times and accuracy rates of Spanish-English bilinguals differing from those of the other groups. All participant groups showed more negative N450 mean amplitudes to nonrhyming compared with rhyming targets, regardless of orthographic similarity, and this rhyming effect did not differ across groups under the orthographically similar conditions. However, under orthographically dissimilar conditions, the rhyming effect was less robust in non-native speakers, being modulated by English proficiency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes