Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Bilingual advantage and language switch: What's the linkage?*

  • MICHELE SCALTRITTI (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), FRANCESCA PERESSOTTI (a1) (a2) and MICHELE MIOZZO (a5)

Abstract

Whether bilingualism affects executive functions is a topic of intense debate. While some studies have provided evidence of enhanced executive functions in bilinguals compared to monolinguals, other studies have failed to find advantages. In the present study, we investigated whether high opportunity of language switching could contribute to bilingual advantage. Advantages have been consistently found with Catalan–Spanish bilinguals who experience frequent opportunities of language switching. Fewer opportunities are experienced by speakers of Italian and one of the Italian dialects, the participants of our study. We anticipated reduced or no advantages with these participants. In Experiment 1, subjective estimates of familiarity with dialect failed to show a relationship with performances in different tasks involving executive control. In Experiment 2, we compared Italian–Venetian dialect bilinguals to Italian monolinguals in the flanker task, and no advantages were found either. Contrasting with results from Catalan–Spanish bilinguals, our results suggest that language switching plays a role in bilingual advantages.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Michele Miozzo, The New School, 80 Fifth Avenue, 7th floor, New York, NY-10011 michele@psych.columbia.edu

Footnotes

Hide All
*

We want to thank Gaia Rocchi, Ilaria Censi, and Vittoria Zanardi for their help with data collection, and Laura Vanelli, Raffealla Zanuttini, and Claudio Zmarich for the information about Italian dialects they shared with us. We are also grateful to George Vickers for his suggestions.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Alfonzetti, G. (1998). The conversational dimension in code-switching between Italian and dialect in Sicily. In Auer, P. (Ed), Code-switching in conversation (pp. 180211). London: Routledge.
Auer, P. (2005). Europe's sociolinguistic unity, or: A typology of European dialect/standard constellations. In Delbecque, N., van der Auwera, J., & Geeraerts, D. (Eds), Perspectives on variation. (pp. 742). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Benincà, P., & Cinque, G. (2014). Kind-defining relative clauses in the diachrony of Italian. In Benincà, P., Ledgeway, A., & Vincent, N. (Eds.), Diachrony and dialects: Grammatical change in the dialects of Italy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Berruto, G. (1997). Code-switching and code-mixing. In Maiden, M., & Parry, M. M. (Eds), The dialects of Italy (pp. 394400). London: Routledge.
Berruto, G. (2005). Dialect/standard convergence. Mixing, and models of language contact: the case of Italian. In Auer, P., Hinskens, F., & Kerswill, P. (Eds.), Dialect change: Convergence and divergence in European languages (pp. 8195). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bialystok, E. (2006). Effect of bilingualsim and computer video game experience on the Simon task. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 6879.
Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., Grady, C., Chau, W., Ishii, R., Gunji, A., & Pantev, C. (2005). Effect of bilingualism on cognitive control in the Simon task: Evidence from MEG. NeuroImage, 24, 4049.
Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., Green, D. W., & Gollan, T. H. (2009). Bilingual minds. Psychological Sciences in the Public Interest, 10, 89129.
Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., Klein, R., & Viswanathan, M. (2004). Bilingualism, aging, and cognitive control: evidence form the Simon task. Psychology and Aging, 19, 290-303.
Bialystok, E., Craik, F., & Luk, G. (2008a). Cognitive control and lexical access in younger and older bilinguals. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34, 859873.
Bialystok, E., Craik, F., & Luk, G. (2008b). Lexical access in bilinguals: Effects of vocabulary size and executive control. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 21, 522538.
Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I., & Luk, G. (2012). Bilingualism: consequences for mind and brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16, 240250.
Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., & Ryan, J. (2006). Executive control in a modified antisaccadic task: effects of aging and bilingualism. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32, 13411354.
Bialystok, E., & DePape, A.-M. (2009). Musical expertise, bilingualism, and executive functioning. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance, 35, 565574.
Bialystok, E., Martin, M. M., & Viswanathan, M. (2005). Bilingualism across the lifespan: the rise and fall of inhibitory control. International Journal of Bilingualism, 9, 103119.
Cardinaletti, A., & Ripetti, L. (2010). Prolitic vs. enclitic pronouns in northern Italian dialects and the null-subject parameter. In D'Alessandro, R., Ledgeway, A., & Roberts, I. (Eds.), Syntactic variation: The dialects of Italy (pp. 119134). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cennamo, M., & Sorace, A. (2007). Unaccusativity at the syntax-lexicon interface: Evidence from Paduan. In Aranovic, R. (Ed.), Split auxiliary system: A cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 65100). Amsterdam: Benjamins
Carlson, S. M., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2008). Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children. Developmental Science, 11, 282298.
Chambers, J. K., & Trudgill, P. (1998). Dialectology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Colzato, L. S., Bajo, M. T., van den Wildenberg, W., Paolieri, D., Nieuwenhuis, S., & La Heij, W., & Hommel, B. (2008). How does bilingualism improve executive control? A comparison of active and reactive inhibition mechanisms. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34, 302312.
Costa, A., Hernández, M., Costa-Faidella, J., & Sebastián-Galles, N. (2009). On the bilingual advantage in conflict processing: Now you see it, now you don't. Cognition, 113, 135149.
Costa, A., Hernández, M., & Sebastián-Galles, N. (2008). Bilingualism aids conflict resolution: Evidence from the ANT task. Cognition, 106, 5986.
Costa, A., & Santesteban, M. (2004). Lexical access in bilingual speech production: Evidence from language switching in highly proficient bilinguals and L2 learners. Journal of Memory and Language, 50, 491511.
Costa, A., Santesteban, M., & Ivanova, I. (2006). How do highly-proficient bilinguals control their lexicalization process? Inhibitory and language-specific selection mechanisms are both functional. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 32, 10571074.
de Bruin, A., Treccani, B., & Della Sala, S. (2015). Cognitive advantage in bilingualism: An example of publication bias? Psychological Science, 26, 99107.
Emmorey, K., Luk, G., Pyers, J. E., & Bialystok, E. (2009). The source of enhanced cognitive control in bilinguals: Evidence from bimodal bilinguals. Psychological Science, 19, 12011206.
Eriksen, B. A., & Eriksen, C. W. (1974). Effects of noise letters upon the identification of a target letter in a nonsearch task. Perception and Psychophysics, 16, 143149.
Ferguson, C. (1959). Diglossia. Word 15, 325340.
Ferguson, R. (2007). A linguistic history of Venice. Florence: L. S. Olschki.
Finkbeiner, M., Gollan, T. H., & Caramazza, A. (2006). Lexical access in bilingual speakers: What's the (hard) problem? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 9, 153166.
Forster, K. I., & Forster, J. C. (2003). DMDX: A Windows display program with millisecond accuracy. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 35, 116124.
Giacalone Ramat, A. (1995). Code-switching in the context of dialect/standard language relations. In Milroy, L., & Muysken, P. (Eds.), One speaker, two languages (pp. 4567). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Giannelli, L., & Cravens, T. D. (1997). Consonantal weakening. In Maiden, M., & Parry, M. M. (Eds), The dialects of Italy (pp. 3240). London: Routledge.
Gollan, T. H., Montoya, R. I., & Werner, G. A. (2002). Semantic and letter fluency in Spanish-English bilinguals. Neuropsychology, 16, 562576.
Green, D. W. (1998). Mental control of the bilingual lexico-semantic system. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1, 6781.
Hakuta, K. (1986). Mirror of language: The debate on bilingualism. New York: Basic Books.
Hilchey, M. D., & Klein, R. M. (2011). Are there bilingual advantages on nonlinguistic interference tasks? Implications for the plasticity of executive control processes. Psychological Bulletin and Review, 18, 625658.
ISTAT, National Institute for Statistics – Italy (2014). L'uso della lingua Italiana, dei dialetti e di altre lingue in Italia. http://www.istat.it.
Kormi-Nuori, R., Moradi, A., Moradi, S., Akbari-Zardkhaneh, S., & Zahedian, H. (2012). The effect of bilingualism on letter and category fluency tasks in primary school children: Advantage or disadvantage? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15, 351364.
Kousaie, S., & Phillips, (2012). Ageing and bilingualism: Absence of a “bilingual advantage” in Stroop interference in a nonimmigrant sample. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65, 356369.
Kroll, J. F., & Bialystok, E. (2013). Understanding the consequences of bilingualism for language processing and cognition. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25, 497514.
Lauchlan, F., Parisi, M., & Fadda, R. (2012). Bilingualism in Sardinia and Scotland: Exploring the cognitive benefits of speaking a ‘minority’ language. International Journal of Bilingualism, 17, 4356.
Luo, L., Luk, G., & Bialystok, E. (2010). Effect of language proficiency and executive control on verbal fluency performance in bilinguals. Cognition, 114, 2941.
Maiden, M. (1995). A linguistic history of Italian. Harlow: Longman.
Marian, V., Blumenfeld, H. K., & Kaushanskaya, M. (2007). The language experience and proficiency questionnaire (LEAP-Q): Assessing language profiles in bilinguals and multilinguls. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 50 (4), 940967.
Meuter, R. F. I., & Allport, A. (1999). Bilingual language switching in naming: Asymmetrical costs of language selection. Journal of Memory and Language, 40, 2540.
Mioni, A., & Arnuzzo Lansweert, A. M. (1979). Sociolinguistics in Italy. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 21, 81107.
Muljačić, Z. (1997). The relationship between the dialects and the standard language. In Maiden, M., & Parry, M. M. (Eds), The dialects of Italy (pp. 387393). London: Routledge.
Namazi, M., & Thordardottir, E. (2010). A working memory, not bilingual advantage, in controlled attention. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13, 597616.
Novelli, G., Papagno, C., Capitani, E., Laiacona, N., Vallar, G., & Cappa, S. F. (1986). Tre test clinici di ricerca e produzione lessicale. Taratura su soggetti normali. Archivio di Psicologia, Neurologia e Psichiatria, 47, 477506.
Paap, K. R., & Greenberg, Z. I. (2013). There is no coherent evidence for a bilingual advantage in executive processing. Cognitive Psychology, 66, 232258.
Paap, K. R., Johnson, H. A., & Sawi, O. (2014). Are bilingual advantages dependent upon specific tasks or specific bilingual experiences? Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26, 615639.
Poletto, C. (2000). The higher functional field: Evidence from Northern Italian dialects. New York: Oxford University Press.
Pelham, S. D., & Abrams, L. (2014). Cognitive advantages and disadvantages in early and late bilinguals. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 40, 313325.
Poarch, G. J., & van Hell, J. G. (2012). Executive functions and inhibitory control in multilingual children: Evidence from second-language learners, bilinguals, and trilinguals. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113, 535551.
Posner, M. I., & Petersen, S. E. (1990). The attention systems of the human brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 13, 2542.
Protopapas, A. (2007). CheckVocal: A program to facilitate checking the accuracy and response time of vocal responses from DMDX. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 859862.
Rascovsky, K., Salmon, D. P., Hansen, L. A., Thal, L. J., & Galasko, D. (2007). Disparate letter and semantic category fluency deficits in autopsy-confirmed frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychology, 21, 2030.
Rohrer, D., Wixted, J. T., Salmon, D. P., & Butters, N. (1995). Retrieval from semantic memory and its’ implications for Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21, 11271139.
Rosselli, M., Ardila, A., Salvatierra, J. L, Marquez, M., Matos, L., & Weekes, V. A. (2002). A cross-linguistic comparison of verbal fluency tests. International Journal of Neuroscience, 112, 759776.
Salvatierra, J. L., & Rosselli, M. (2011). The effect of bilingualism and age on inhibitory control. International Journal of Bilingualism, 15, 2637.
Sandoval, T. C., Gollan, T. H., Ferreira, V. S., & Salmon, D. P. (2010). What causes the bilingual disadvantage in verbal fluency? The dual task analogy. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13, 231252.
Savoia, L. (1997). The geographical distribution of the dialects. In Maiden, M., & Parry, M. M. (Eds), The dialects of Italy (pp. 225234). London: Routledge.
Sobrero, A. (1997). Italianization of the dialect. In Maiden, M., & Parry, M. M. (Eds), The dialects of Italy (pp. 412418). London: Routledge.
Strauss, E., Sherman, E. M. S., & Spreen, O. (2006). A compendium of neuropsychological tests: Admnistration, norms and commentary (3rd Ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Troyer, A. K., Moscovitch, M., Winocur, G., Alexander, M. P., & Stuss, D. (1998). Clustering and switching on verbal fluency: The effects of focal frontal- and temporal-lobe lesions. Neuropsychologia, 36, 499504.
Trumper, J. (1989). Observations of sociolinguistic beaviour in two Italian regions. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 76, 3162.
Tuttle, E. (1997a). The Veneto. In Maiden, M., & Parry, M. M. (Eds), The dialects of Italy (pp. 263270). London: Routledge.
Tuttle, E. (1997b). Palatalization . In Maiden, M., & Parry, M. M. (Eds), The dialects of Italy (pp. 2631). London: Routledge.
Van Selst, M., & Jolicoeur, P. (1994). A solution to the effect of sample size on outlier elimination. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 47A, 631650.
Vega-Mendoza, M., West, H., Sorace, A., & Bak, T. H. (2015). The impact of late, non-balanced bilingualism on cognitive performance. Cognition, 137, 4046.
Vila i Moreno, F. X., Vial, S., & Galindo, J. H. (2004). Language practices in bilingual schools: Some observed, quantitative data from Catalonia. In Rodríguez-Yáñez, X. P., Lorenzo, A. M., & Ramallo, F. (Eds.), Bilingualism and education: From the family to the school (pp. 317329). Munich: Lincoln Europa.

Keywords

Bilingual advantage and language switch: What's the linkage?*

  • MICHELE SCALTRITTI (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), FRANCESCA PERESSOTTI (a1) (a2) and MICHELE MIOZZO (a5)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.