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  • Casaponsa_etal_BrainResearch2015

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Brain Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Brain Research, 1624, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.07.035

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How do bilinguals identify the language of the words they read?

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/10/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Brain Research
Volume1624
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)153-166
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/07/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

How do bilinguals detect the language of the words they read? Recent electrophysiological research using the masked priming paradigm combining primes and targets from different languages has shown that bilingual readers identify the language of the words within approximately 200 ms. Recent evidence shows that language-detection mechanisms vary as a function of the orthographic markedness of the words (i.e., whether or not a given word contains graphemic combinations that are not legal in the other language). The present study examined how the sub-lexical orthographic regularities of words are used as predictive cues. Spanish–Basque bilinguals and Spanish monolinguals (control group) were tested in an Event-Related Potential (ERP) experiment, using the masked priming paradigm. During the experiment, Spanish targets were briefly preceded by unrelated Spanish or Basque words. Unrelated Basque words could contain bigram combinations that are either plausible or implausible in the target language (Spanish). Results show a language switch effect in the N250 and N400 components for marked Basque primes in both groups, whereas, in the case of unmarked Basque primes, language switch effects were found in bilinguals but not monolinguals. These data demonstrate that statistical orthographic regularities of words play an important role in bilingual language detection, and provide new evidence supporting the assumptions of the BIA+ extended model.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Brain Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Brain Research, 1624, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.07.035