Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 June 2018
The contribution that Ton Dijkstra has made to the field of bilingualism, with his colleagues over the years, is beyond measure. He has advanced our field with the thoughtful and thought-provoking models of the bilingual lexicon he has put forward, and with the vast empirical data he and his colleagues have collected from numerous bilinguals, using a variety of experimental methods. This paper by Dijkstra, Wahl, Buytenhuijs, van Halem, Al-jibouri, de Korte, and Rekké (2018) is no exception. It comprises a thoughtful and detailed description of a new model, Multilink, and provides relevant information regarding the context in which the model was developed, its assumptions, its successes and challenges. The model is the first to consider aspects of both word production and word recognition, as well as of word translation, and to explicitly address how translation equivalents that share both form and meaning – cognates – may be processed. Also addressed are word-frequency concerns, including differences in word frequency that are dependent on language proficiency and exposure. The assumptions that are made within the model are clearly laid out, and less-than-ideal decisions that needed to be made are acknowledged. The authors conclude that a model like Multilink could be the basis for a general model of the mental lexicon. In that, they promote the view taken in Libben, Goral, and Libben (2017) that the bilingual – not the monolingual – lexicon should be considered as the default.
*The author thanks Gary Libben and Maya Libben for their comments on an earlier draft of this paper.