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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

A challenge for any model of bilingual word access is to explain how speakers are able to select words from the intended language without experiencing intrusions from the coactivated unintended language. The authors provide an overview of current models of bilingual speech production, and then critically examine the hypothesis that the unintended language has to be inhibited in order to select words from the intended language. The authors focus on (a) lexical retrieval difficulties associated with bilingualism and second language production; (b) cross-language semantic contextual effects; (c) advantages in domain-general cognitive control associated to bilingualism; (d) the relationship between domain-general cognitive control, language control, and bilingual advantages and disadvantages; and (e) the impact of becoming bilingual on lexical retrieval, language control, and domain general cognitive control. The authors conclude that despite the appeal of a unified inhibitory control account, a systematic evaluation of the literature highlights that a single mechanism is likely insufficient to capture all data.

Keywords: bilingual language control, bilingual speech production disadvantage, cross-language semantic contextual effects, bilingual advantages in cognitive control, immersion learning

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