Edited by Irina A. Sekerina, Lauren Spradlin and Virginia Valian
[Studies in Bilingualism 57] 2019
► pp. 147–159
Chapter 10. Language control and executive control
Can studies on language processing distinguish the two?
In this paper, we review recent literature on the cognitive benefits of bilingualism and suggest that studies focusing on language processing can provide insights in the debate surrounding the “bilingual advantage hypothesis”. We argue that cross-language priming can be a useful research tool, because it recruits different types of abilities, some of which may not be language-specific. Specifically, we claim that the mechanism that allows speakers to correctly select the target language in cross-language priming may be the same that is needed in cognitive tasks to alternate between different sets of rules. We further argue that the choice of a specific linguistic structure is, by contrast, governed by processes that are purely linguistic in nature.