Exploring the role of cognitive control in syntactic processing: Evidence from cross-language priming in bilingual children

Anna Wolleb, Antonella Sorace, Marit Westergaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the role of cognition in bilingual syntactic processing by employing a structural priming paradigm. A group of Norwegian-English bilingual children and an age-matched group of Norwegian monolingual children were tested in a priming task that included both a within-language and a between-language priming condition. Results show that the priming effect between-language was not significantly smaller than the effect within-language. We argue that this is because language control mechanisms do not affect the access to the shared grammar. In addition, we investigate the interaction between the children's performance in the priming task and in a non- linguistic cognitive task and find that the two measures are not correlated; however, we find a correlation between the cognitive task and language control, which we measured by counting the number of trials produced in the non-target language. Our findings suggest that language control and domain-general executive control overlap only partially.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-636
JournalLinguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
Volume8
Issue number5
Early online date10 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • bilingual development
  • structural priming
  • syntactic processing

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