Exploring the role of cognitive control in syntactic processing: Evidence from cross-language priming in bilingual children
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLinguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. 2017. 10.1075/lab.17002.wol
In this paper, we explore the role of cognition in bilingual syntactic processing by employing a structural priming paradigm. A group of Norwegian-English bilingual children and an age-matched group of Norwegian monolingual children were tested in a priming task that included both a within-language and a between-language priming condition. Results show that the priming effect between-language was not significantly smaller than the effect within-language. We argue that this is because language control mechanisms do not affect the access to the shared grammar. In addition, we investigate the interaction between the children’s performance in the priming task and in a non-linguistic cognitive task and find that the two measures are not correlated; however, we find a correlation between the cognitive task and language control, which we measured by counting the number of trials produced in the non-target language. Our findings suggest that language control and domain-general executive control overlap only partially.