Publications & Papers
- The Multilingual Lexicon: The Cognitive and Neural Basis of Lexical Comprehension and Production in Two or More Languages - 2013
- Judith F. Kroll, Jason W. Gullifer, Eleonora Rossi
- Recent studies have shown that when bilinguals or multilinguals read written
words, listen to spoken words, or plan words that they intend to speak in one
language alone, information in all of the languages that they know is momentar-
ily active. That activation produces cross-language competition that sometimes
converges to facilitate performance and sometimes diverges to create costs to
performance. The presence of parallel activation across languages has been
documented in comprehension, in studies of word recognition, and also in pro-
duction, in studies of lexical speech planning. The observation that one of the
two or more languages cannot be switched off at will is particularly surprising in
production, where the intention to express a thought should be guided by con-
ceptually driven processes. Likewise, in comprehension, recent studies show
that placing words in sentence context in one language alone is insufficient to
restrict processing to that language. The focus of current research on the mul-
tilingual lexicon is therefore to understand the basis of language nonselectivity,
to consider how the language in use is ultimately selected, and to identify the
cognitive consequences of having a lexical system that is open to influence by
the languages not in use. In this article, we review the recent cognitive and neural
evidence on each of these issues, with special consideration to the question of
how the nature of the evidence itself shapes the conclusions drawn about the
organization and access to the lexicon in individuals who speak more than one
- When Language Switching has No Apparent Cost: Lexical Access in Sentence Context - 2013
- Jason W. Gullifer, Judith F. Kroll, Paola E. Dussias
- We report two experiments that investigate the effects of sentence context on bilingual lexical access in Spanish and English. Highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals read sentences in Spanish and English that included a marked word to be named. The word was either a cognate with similar orthography and/or phonology in the two languages, or a matched non-cognate control. Sentences appeared in one language alone (i.e., Spanish or English) and target words were not predictable on the basis of the preceding semantic context. In Experiment 1, we mixed the language of the sentence within a block such that sentences appeared in an alternating run in Spanish or in English. These conditions partly resemble normally occurring inter-sentential code-switching. In these mixed-language sequences, cognates were named faster than non-cognates in both languages. There were no effects of switching the language of the sentence. In Experiment 2, with Spanish-English bilinguals matched closely to those who participated in the first experiment, we blocked the language of the sentences to encourage language-specific processes. The results were virtually identical to those of the mixed-language experiment. In both cases, target cognates were named faster than non-cognates, and the magnitude of the effect did not change according to the broader context. Taken together, the results support the predictions of the Bilingual Interactive Activation + Model (Dijkstra and van Heuven, 2002) in demonstrating that bilingual lexical access is language non-selective even under conditions in which language-specific cues should enable selective processing. They also demonstrate that, in contrast to lexical switching from one language to the other, inter-sentential code-switching of the sort in which bilinguals frequently engage, imposes no significant costs to lexical processing.
- Master's Thesis: The effect of syntactic constraints on parallel activation of words in the bilingual's languages - 2011
- Jason W. Gullifer
- Many recent studies demonstrate that bilingual word recognition is language nonselective in nature. Bilinguals activate information about words in each language in parallel when reading or listening to a word in one language alone (e.g., Dijkstra, 2005; Marian & Spivey, 2003), even if the word is embedded in a sentence context (e.g., Duyck, Van Assche, Drieghe, & Hartsuiker, 2007; Libben & Titone, 2009; Schwartz & Kroll, 2006; Van Hell & de Groot, 2008). Two factors have been identified that effectively eliminate the cross-language effect within sentence context: a highly biased semantic constraint (e.g., Schwartz & Kroll, 2006) and when words differ in grammatical class across both languages (e.g., Baten, Hofman, & Loeys, 2010). One contextual factor that has been ignored is the presence of language-specific syntactic constraints. In the current study, highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals read sentences in each language across separate blocks. Half of the Spanish sentences contained syntax that was structurally specific to Spanish in two ways: (a) the indirect object of a ditransitive verb was realized pleonastically with the proclitic le and its corresponding noun phrase, and (b) the grammatical subject of the object relative clause was not expressed overtly (e.g., Las monjas (a)le llevaron las mantas que (b)(pro) hab ́ bordado a la directora del orfanato. [The nuns took the ıan quilts that they had embroidered to the director of the orphanage.]) The English translations were controls in that the initial phrase of the sentence was not syntactically specific to either language. Bilinguals read sentences presented word-by-word and named a target word aloud. Critical target words were language-ambiguous cognates (e.g., bus in English and Spanish), which were matched to a set of unambiguous control words (e.g., hairspray-laca). The results indicated that language-specific syntactic constraints did not reliably modulate the cognate effect for all bilinguals. This suggests that the bilinguals activated both languages even in sentences with syntactic structure specific to only one language. However, a subset of the bilinguals, those who were dominant in Spanish, did appear to make use of the syntactic constraints to switch off the unintended language. However, there was not sufficient power to find an effect statistically. The current study shows that it may be premature to conclude that language-specific syntactic constraints do not modulate nonselectivity. The implications for models of the bilingual lexicon are discussed.
- Bachelor's Thesis: Processing Reverse Sluicing - 2007
- Jason W. Gullifer
- This paper investigates processing differences between sentences containing filler-gap
dependencies and sentences with a cataphoric form of ellipsis, reverse sluicing. The results provide
supporting evidence for an integral element of syntactic theory: that movement and ellipsis are two
I have made a varity of programs and scripts I've created available on my github page.
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