Bilingualism in the Teenage Years: Lexical juggling in bilingual memory as evidenced by negative and positive priming effects


The present experiments studied teenage bilinguals to advance the literature on the nature of bilingual lexical selection and representation using negative and positive priming manipulations. Our unilingual experiment showed positive priming effects in the attended repetition condition where the prime and probe target words were the same, whereas negative priming effects were found on trials where the prime distractor word matched the probe target. In the cross-language experiment, the ignored repetition negative priming effect subsisted across-languages, but cross-language attended repetition positive priming effect did not. We further tested the impact of second language proficiency on the cross-language manipulations but found no interaction between priming effects and second language proficiency. Our results corroborate the argument that the languages of the bilingual are stored and accessed together (Neumann et al., 1999), and that inhibitory control is the system that regulates bilingual language use. However, contrary to previous studies (eg., Nkrumah & Neumann, 2017) second language proficiency played no role in modulating the two automatic sources of inhibition.

Citation: Ivy Kesewaa Nkrumah, Mark Owusu Amponsah, Koawo Edjah, Eunice Torto-Seidu (2021) Bilingualism in the teenage years: lexical juggling in bilingual memory as evidenced by negative and positive priming effects, British Journal of Psychology Research, Vol.9, No.2, pp. 1-19


Keywords: Bilinguals, Teenagers, lexical decision task, negative priming

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 1-19 (Download PDF)

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