The present study explores whether age of onset of exposure to the second language affects interference resolution at the grammatical gender level and whether cognitive functions contribute to interference resolution. Early and late successive Serbian-Greek bilinguals living in the second language context, along with monolinguals, performed a picture-word interference naming task in a single-language context and a non-verbal inhibition task. We found that gender interference from the first language was only present in late successive bilinguals. Early bilinguals exhibited no interference from the grammatical gender of their mother tongue and showed more enhanced inhibitory abilities than the rest of the groups in the non-verbal task. The distinct sizes of interference from the grammatical gender of the first language across the two bilingual groups is explained by early successive bilinguals’ more enhanced domain-general inhibitory processes in the resolution of between-language conflict at the grammatical gender level relative to late successive bilinguals.
- grammatical gender
- age of onset