Edinburgh Research Explorer

Language control and executive control: Can studies on language processing distinguish the two?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBilingualism, Executive Function, and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationQuestions and insights
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262745
ISBN (Print)9789027202437, 9789027202420
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameBilingualism, Executive Function, and Beyond
ISSN (Print)0928-1533


In this paper, we review recent literature on the cognitive benefits of bilingualism and suggest that studies focusing on language processing can provide insights in the debate surrounding the “bilingual advantage hypothesis”. We argue that cross-language priming can be a useful research tool, because it recruits different types of abilities, some of which may not be language-specific. Specifically, we claim that the mechanism that allows speakers to correctly select the target language in cross-language priming may be the same that is needed in cognitive tasks to alternate between different sets of rules. We further argue that the choice of a specific linguistic structure is, by contrast, governed by processes that are purely linguistic in nature.

    Research areas

  • bilingualism, executive control, language processing

ID: 98511543