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Performance difference in verbal fluency in bilingual and monolingual speakers

  • Abhijeet Patra (a1), Arpita Bose (a1) and Theodoros Marinis (a1) (a2)


Research has shown that bilinguals can perform similarly, better or poorly on verbal fluency task compared to monolinguals. Verbal fluency data for semantic (animals, fruits and vegetables, and clothing) and letter fluency (F, A, S) were collected from 25 Bengali–English bilinguals and 25 English monolinguals in English. The groups were matched for receptive vocabulary, age, education and non-verbal intelligence. We used a wide range of measures to characterize fluency performance: number of correct, fluency difference score, time-course analysis (1st RT, Sub-RT, initiation, slope), clustering, and switching. Participants completed three executive control measures tapping into inhibitory control, mental-set shifting and working memory. Differences between the groups were significant when executive control demands were higher such as number of correct responses in letter fluency, fluency difference score, Sub-RT, slope and cluster size for letter fluency, such that bilinguals outperform the monolinguals. Stroop performance correlated positively with the slope only for the bilinguals.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Arpita Bose, Ph.D., Email:


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Performance difference in verbal fluency in bilingual and monolingual speakers

  • Abhijeet Patra (a1), Arpita Bose (a1) and Theodoros Marinis (a1) (a2)


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