In two lexical decision experiments, we investigated how sentence language affects the bilingual's recognition of target words from the same or a different language. Dutch-English bilinguals read Dutch (L1) or English (L2) sentences, presented word by word, followed by English (Experiment 1) or Dutch (Experiment 2) target words. Targets were Dutch-English cognates or non-cognates in isolation or preceded by sentences providing a high or a low semantic constraint. English cognates were facilitated irrespective of whether they were preceded by high or low constraining English sentences (no language switch) or Dutch sentences (switch). For Dutch cognates, inhibition effects arose in low constraining sentences (irrespective of Dutch or English) and in English (switch) sentences (irrespective of semantic constraint). Thus, under mixed language conditions, sentence constraint modulates target word processing but does not always completely eliminate cross-linguistic effects. The results are interpreted in a BIA+ model that extends monolingual views on sentence comprehension.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language