Edited by Maya Libben, Mira Goral and Gary Libben
[Bilingual Processing and Acquisition 6] 2017
► pp. 123–142
The influence of contextual cues on representations in the mental lexicon for bilinguals
The strength of each representation in the mental lexicon depends on factors such as word frequency and conceptual concreteness. For bilinguals, each concept has two lexical representations, and so representational strength also depends on the salience of first- and second-language activation and the dominance of each language. The relative salience of the dominant language is a critical reason for observed asymmetric language switching costs, but the language context can reverse this effect. Therefore, context is another important influence on the relative level of activation in the mental lexicon, a factor that is often overlooked in the literature. Here we explore the contribution of contextual cues on salience of representations in the mental lexicon for bilinguals.
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