Language Switching Across Modalities: Evidence From Bimodal Bilinguals

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Abstract

This study investigated whether language control during language production in bilinguals generalizes across modalities, and to what extent the language control system is shaped by competition for the same articulators. Using a cued language-switching paradigm, we investigated whether switch costs are observed when hearing signers switch between a spoken and a signed language. The results showed an asymmetrical switch cost for bimodal bilinguals on reaction time (RT) and accuracy, with larger costs for the (dominant) spoken language. Our findings suggest important similarities in the mechanisms underlying language selection in bimodal bilinguals and unimodal bilinguals, with competition occurring at multiple levels other than phonology.

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