A processing burden, or a valuable resource for prediction?
Monolinguals use various linguistic phenomena to guide prediction while comprehending. For bilinguals, the richer linguistic landscape provides additional resources. Code-switches (CS) are a particularly salient event, which could play a role in bilingual prediction. Despite the ubiquity and diverse functions of code-switching, experimental research has focused on CS processing costs, largely in comprehension (Litcofsky & Van Hell, 2017). Despite apparent integration costs, code-switching can facilitate subsequent language processing, due to natural code-switching patterns. We illustrate this approach with two eye-tracking studies suggesting that code-switches are used as a cue that a less frequent or negative word follows. These studies underscore the need to integrate socio-pragmatic and corpus-modeling observations with experimentation to reach a comprehensive understanding of CS processing (Myers-Scotton, 2006).
- Illustrative Study 1: Can code-switching signal less expected upcoming lexical information?
- Illustrative Study 2: Can code-switching ease the processing of taboo or negative information?
- General discussion
- Potential mechanisms underlying the CS effect
- Factors modulating how CS affects prediction