Edited by Irina A. Sekerina, Lauren Spradlin and Virginia Valian
[Studies in Bilingualism 57] 2019
► pp. 161–180
Chapter 11. Effects of dense code-switching on executive control
Bilingualism is reported to re-structure executive control networks, but it remains unknown which aspects of the bilingual experience cause this modulation. This study explores the impact of three code-switching types on executive functions: (1) alternation, (2) insertion, and (3) dense code-switching or congruent lexicalization. Current models hypothesize that different code-switching types challenge different aspects of the executive system because they vary in the extent and scope of language separation. Two groups of German-English bilinguals differing in dense code-switching frequency participated in a flanker task under conditions varying in degree of trial-mixing and resulting demands to conflict monitoring. Bilinguals engaging in more dense code-switching showed inhibitory advantages in the condition requiring most conflict monitoring. Moreover, dense code-switching frequency correlated positively with monitoring skills. This suggests that dense code-switching is a key experience shaping bilinguals’ executive functioning and highlights the importance of controlling for participants’ code-switching habits in bilingualism research.