Bilingual language switching costs in auditory comprehension
2017, Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, Issue 4, Pg. 494–513, Volume 32,
Previous research on bilingual language switching and lexical access has demonstrated a consistent reaction time cost associated with producing a switched token. While some studies have shown these costs to be asymmetrical, with bilinguals evidencing a greater delay when producing switches into their dominant language relative to the non-dominant language, others have shown symmetrical costs, depending on individual (e.g. proficiency) and contextual (e.g. language mode) factors. The current study, employing an eye-tracking paradigm, extends this line of research by examining the potential for switch costs during auditory comprehension. Paralleling previous production-oriented research, results of the current study demonstrate flexible switch costs during auditory comprehension. Switch costs were asymmetrical in monolingual mode, with greater costs incurred when switching into the dominant language, and uniformly absent in bilingual mode. Results are discussed with respect to bilingual language selection mechanisms in both production and comprehension.