Abstract

Bilingualism has been associated with slower lexical processing in both languages, but it remains unclear to what extent this effect may be modulated by language use. We compared older English monolinguals with two groups of older bilinguals on lexical processing tasks. Both acquired English and Gaelic during childhood, but while active bilinguals continued to use both languages, inactive bilinguals mostly used English. All three groups showed similar accuracy in English. However, in reaction times, active, but not inactive bilinguals were slower than monolinguals. We conclude that language use can modulate effects of bilingualism on lexical tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-974
Number of pages8
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Volume31
Issue number8
Early online date7 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • bilingualism
  • lexical processing
  • language use
  • language proficiency

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