Evidence for a bimodal bilingual disadvantage in letter fluency
Giezen, Marcel R.
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GIEZEN, M., & EMMOREY, K. (2017). Evidence for a bimodal bilingual disadvantage in letter fluency. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20(1), 42-48. doi:10.1017/S1366728916000596
Many bimodal bilinguals are immersed in a spoken language-dominant environment from an early age and, unlike unimodal bilinguals, do not necessarily divide their language use between languages. Nonetheless, early ASL–English bilinguals retrieved fewer words in a letter fluency task in their dominant language compared to monolingual English speakers with equal vocabulary level. This finding demonstrates that reduced vocabulary size and/or frequency of use cannot completely account for bilingual disadvantages in verbal fluency. Instead, retrieval difficulties likely reflect between-language interference. Furthermore, it suggests that the two languages of bilinguals compete for selection even when they are expressed with distinct articulators.