Language Switching in a Picture Naming Task: An ERP Study
West, Evan E.
- Language switching was investigated in 13 unbalanced bilinguals (L1 English, L2 French, no L3) using the EEG recording technique. ERPs were recorded to images preceded by printed words. Subjects performed a semantic categorization task on the prime word in half the study and a language decision task in the other half. Within each half, there was one block in which pictures were named in L1 and one ... read morein which pictures were named in L2. Language switch was manipulated by language of the prime word, which switched randomly and unpredictably between L1 and L2. A frontal N2 was found for switch trials in the L1-L2 direction only, and switch effects were more prevalent in the semantic categorization task than the language decision task. Switch cost is discussed through the framework of two models of language control: the Inhibitory Control (IC) model and the developmental Bilingual Interactive-Activation (BIA-d) model. The results support the BIA-d model and contradict the predictions of the IC model.read less