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The Psycholinguistics of Bilingualism



The Psycholinguistics of Bilingualism

François Grosjean, Ping Li

ISBN: 978-1-118-34973-1 October 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 256 Pages

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The Psycholinguistics of Bilingualism presents a comprehensive introduction to the foundations of bilingualism, covering language processing, language acquisition, cognition and the bilingual brain.

  • This thorough introduction to the psycholinguistics of bilingualism is accessible to non-specialists with little previous exposure to the field
  • Introduces students to the methodological approaches currently employed in the field, including observation, experimentation, verbal and computational modelling, and brain imaging
  • Examines spoken and written language processing, simultaneous and successive language acquisition, bilingual memory and cognitive effects, and neurolinguistic and neuro-computational models of the bilingual brain
  • Written in an accessible style by two of the field’s leading researchers, together with contributions from internationally-renowned scholars
  • Featuring chapter-by-chapter research questions, this is an essential resource for those seeking insights into the bilingual mind and our current knowledge of the cognitive basis of bilingualism
Author Biographies vii

Introduction 1

1 Bilingualism: A Short Introduction 5
François Grosjean

1.1 The Extent of Bilingualism 6

1.2 Describing Bilinguals 7

1.3 The Functions of Languages 11

1.4 Language Mode 14

1.5 Interacting with Bilinguals and Monolinguals 17

1.6 Biculturalism 21


2 Speech Perception and Comprehension 29
François Grosjean

2.1 From the Speech Wave to the Mental Representation 30

2.2 Processing Monolingual Speech 33

2.3 Processing Bilingual Speech 39

3 Speech Production 50
François Grosjean

3.1 From Thought to Articulation 51

3.2 Producing Monolingual Speech 52

3.3 Language Production in Bilinguals Is a Dynamic Process 54

3.4 Producing Bilingual Speech 59


4 Reading 73
Annette M.B. de Groot

4.1 An Outline of the Reading Process 74

4.2 Word Recognition in Bilinguals 76

4.3 Models of Bilingual Visual Word Recognition 87

4.4 Sentence Processing in Bilinguals 91

5 Writing 100
Rosa M. Manchón

5.1 The Psycholinguistics of Bilingual Writing: Mapping the Terrain 102

5.2 Bilingual Text Production Activity: Processes and Strategies 105

5.3 The Transfer of Knowledge and Skills in Bilingual Writing 111


6 Simultaneous Language Acquisition 119
Virginia Yip

6.1 Theoretical Issues 121

6.2 Methodological Issues 124

6.3 Early Developmental Stages and Language Differentiation 129

6.4 Cross-linguistic Infl uence 130

6.5 Code-mixing 133

6.6 Extensions and Applications 137

7 Successive Language Acquisition 145
Ping Li

7.1 Age Effects in Second Language Acquisition 146

7.2 Speech Learning in Successive Language Acquisition 151

7.3 Dynamic Interaction between First Language and Second Language 155


8 Bilingual Memory 171
Annette M.B. de Groot

8.1 The Organization of the Bilingual Mental Lexicon 172

8.2 Bilingual Concepts 181

8.3 Bilingual Autobiographical Memory 186

9 Cognitive Effects 192
Ellen Bialystok and Raluca Barac

9.1 Language and Metalinguistic Abilities 193

9.2 Acquisition of Literacy 198

9.3 Developing Executive Control 202

9.4 Advantages of Bilingualism across the Lifespan 206

10 Neurolinguistic and Neurocomputational Models 214
Ping Li

10.1 Neurolinguistic Traditions and Debates 215

10.2 The Cognitive Neuroscience of Bilingualism 220

10.3 Neurolinguistic Computational Modeling 228

Index 239

"The Psycholinguistics of Bilingualism is an absolute gem to read. It is concise and clear while not skimping at all on breadth and depth. Truthfully, this is a bit unsettling for those of us who have worked in this field. Capturing such a wide array of topics in a single volume is a gargantuan task. Grosjean and Li should be applauded for helping to shape such an excellent text. Most importantly, the editors and authors help to convince the reader of the importance of dynamic processing, whether it be in computer models that have to adapt to language input, brain images that capture how bilinguals switch between languages, or in the nature of speech that takes into account how bilinguals adapt to different linguistic situations. By bringing all of these pieces together, Grosjean and Li have provided a true gift for those who would like to learn more about this field."  (Language, 1 December 2013)

“Those with an interest in bilingualism would find the chapter on writing helpful due to the small number of bilingual studies, especially looking at two languages in one bilingual, rather than comparing bilingual writings to monolingual writings. Those interested in bilingual code-switching would also find it a useful reference as code-switchng is discussed from different perspectives in several chapters. Undergraduate students studying psycholinguistics are provided with a complete overview on controversial issues such as the critical period hypothesis for language acquisition or the bilingual mental lexicon with the relevant influential articles and hypotheses, listed chronologically. Thus, this book is an ideal choice for an undergraduate or postgraduate course book in introducing various fields of applied linguistics, bilingualism, and also the psycholinguistics of bilingualism.”  (International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 28 August 2013)

“The book is written in a friendly tone that’s easy to understand and engage with, making it perfect for anyone who’s looking to learn more about psycholinguistics or bilingualism – and with great chapters by some of the biggest names in the field, there’s no doubt that the information packed into this little volume is of the highest quality.”  (First Language, 1 January 2014)

“I enjoyed reading this book and would very much recommend it to students, teachers and anyone else interested in the field.  If you have not been fascinated by bilingualism before, you will be after reading the introduction chapter!”  (The Nordic Journal of Linguistics, 1 May 2014)

“It is refreshing to see a textbook that offers a comprehensive introduction to bilingual language processing, language acquisition, cognition and memory, and the bilingual brain. Each chapter presents current debates and issues in their respective subfields accompanied with clear and concise illustrations of empirical studies. Written by prominent researchers, all the chapters are not only remarkably up to date in the various areas covered but also quite accessible to the non-specialist … Whether the reader is mainly looking for a comprehensive overview of the up to date literature or instead looking for suggestions for new avenues of research, this book provides an abundance of information.”  (International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1 October 2013)

“This book exceeded my expectations, and I find it difficult to point out shortcomings, as it is perfectly aligned with its declared aims.”  (The LINGUIST List, 1 May 2013)