Zooming in on zooming out: Partial selectivity and dynamic tuning of bilingual language control during reading
Hoversten, Liv J.
Traxler, Matthew J.
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Liv J. Hoversten, Matthew J. Traxler, Zooming in on zooming out: Partial selectivity and dynamic tuning of bilingual language control during reading, Cognition, Volume 195, 2020, 104118, ISSN 0010-0277, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104118.
Prominent models of bilingual visual word recognition posit a bottom-up nonselective view of lexical processing with parallel access to lexical candidates of both languages. However, these accounts do not accommodate recent findings of top-down effects on the relative global activation level of each language during bilingual reading. We conducted two eye-tracking experiments to systematically assess the degree of accessibility of each language in different global language contexts. When critical words were presented overtly in Experiment 1, code switches disrupted reading early during lexical processing, but not as much as pseudowords did. Participants zoomed out of the target language with increasing exposure to language switches. In Experiment 2, a monolingual language context was created by presenting critical words covertly as parafoveal previews. Here, code-switched words were treated like pseudowords, and participants remained zoomed in to the target language throughout the experiment. Switch direction analyses confirmed and extended these interpretations to provide further support for the role of global language control on lexical access, above and beyond effects due to proficiency differences across languages. Together, these data provide strong evidence for dynamic top-down adjustment of the degree of language selectivity during bilingual reading.