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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The bilingual population nowadays represents a global majority. Hence, the need of elaborating comprehensive theories of lexical access reflecting this reality is becoming increasingly relevant. This chapter presents a critical overview of the most prominent psycholinguistic models of bilingual language production and it tackles different theoretical issues that are currently controversial in the field. The first one concerns whether bilingual lexical access is competitive. Does competition occur between nodes in all of a speaker’s languages, or only between nodes in the target language? A second issue concerns the nature of the mechanisms applied during lexical access (i.e. is language selection resolved through domain-general or language-specific mechanisms?). If bilingual lexical access is competitive and language-non-specific, do the current theories account for the data or do we need to update them? This chapter tries to answer these questions by providing the most recent evidence on mechanisms of bilingual language production.

Keywords: bilingual lexical access, language production, bilingualism, inhibitory control, language switching

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