A Behavioral and Electrophysiological Investigation of the Effect of Bilingualism on Lexical Ambiguity Resolution in Young Adults

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Title: A Behavioral and Electrophysiological Investigation of the Effect of Bilingualism on Lexical Ambiguity Resolution in Young Adults
Authors: Kousaie, Shanna
Laliberté, Christianne
López Zunini, Rocío
Taler, Vanessa
Date: 2015
Abstract: Previous research suggests that bilinguals demonstrate superior cognitive control processes than monolinguals. The goal of the current investigation was to examine whether this "bilingual advantage" is observed in a language processing task that requires inhibition, i.e., lexical ambiguity processing. Monolingual and bilingual participants read sentences that biased the reading of a terminal homonym toward the subordinate or dominant reading (e.g., The doctor asked her to step onto the scale.). A relatedness judgment was made on target words that were related to the contextually appropriate (e.g., balance) or inappropriate meaning (e.g., skin), or unrelated to either meaning (e.g., shoe) while electrophysiological recording took place. The results revealed subtle processing differences between monolinguals and bilinguals that were evident in electrophysiological measures, but not in behavioral measures. These findings suggest that monolinguals rely on context to access the contextually appropriate meaning of a homonym to a greater extent than bilinguals, while bilinguals demonstrate simultaneous activation of both meanings.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34521
DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00682
CollectionLibre accès uOttawa - Publications // uOttawa Open Access - Publications
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