Lexical access in bilinguals: Effects of vocabulary size and executive control.

Citation:

Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., & Luk, G. (2008). Lexical access in bilinguals: Effects of vocabulary size and executive control. Journal of Neurolinguistics , 21, 522-538. Copy at http://j.mp/2oHtMej

Abstract:

We report the results of two studies investigating lexical access in bilinguals. In Study 1, monolinguals performed better than bilinguals on tests of naming and letter fluency, but not on category fluency. When vocabulary size was considered, most of the effects disappeared or were reduced. In Study 2, a larger group of bilinguals was studied to compare the effect of vocabulary size, and a more restrictive version of the letter fluency task was used to increase executive processing involvement. In this case, bilinguals with matched vocabulary scores outperformed monolinguals on letter fluency, and bilinguals with lower vocabulary scores performed at the same level as monolinguals. The results are discussed in terms of the contributions of vocabulary size and executive control to performance on lexical retrieval tasks.