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Language interference and inhibition in early and late successive bilingualism

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    Rights statement: This is the accepted version of the following article: PERISTERI, E., TSIMPLI, I., SORACE, A., & TSAPKINI, K. (2017). Language interference and inhibition in early and late successive bilingualism. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-26. doi:10.1017/S1366728917000372, which has been published in final form at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bilingualism-language-and-cognition/article/language-interference-and-inhibition-in-early-and-late-successive-bilingualism/6709C0135EB188E9DD6A65115ED83734.

    Accepted author manuscript, 767 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1034
JournalBilingualism: Language and Cognition
Issue number5
Early online date11 Oct 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2017


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.

    Research areas

  • bilingualism, grammatical gender, age of onset, inhibition

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