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The Study of Bilingual Language Processing

Nan Jiang

Publication Date - 30 June 2023

ISBN: 9780198852513

272 pages
9.7 x 6.7 inches


This book offers a detailed account of the issues, models, and outcomes of research into the cognition of bilingualism. The first chapter identifies the most important characteristics of this research and its historical developments, before the main part of the book explores studies of four bilingual processing topics. The first of these is lexico-semantic representation and organization in bilinguals, which deals with how words and meanings are represented and connected in the bilingual mind. The second, cross-language priming, explores the bilingual lexicon by examining how exposure to words in one language may affect word recognition in another and leads to the discovery of an asymmetry in translation priming. The third topic is selective lexical access in bilinguals, which examines whether bilinguals can selectively activate one language while suppressing the other, while the fourth is code switching, focussing on language control and language regulation mechanisms in bilinguals. The book concludes with a chapter that reviews research in three areas beyond lexical processing: autobiographical memory, the representation and interaction of syntactic knowledge, and the consequences of bilingualism. The volume demonstrates the theoretical significance and real-world practical implications of research into bilingual language processing, and will be a valuable resource for seminars and courses from advanced undergraduate level upwards.


  • The first book-length account of research into bilingual language processing
  • Explores research in key topics such as cross-language priming and code switching
  • Demonstrates the theoretical significance and real-world practical implications of research into bilingual language processing

About the Author(s)

Nan Jiang, Professor of Second Language Acquisition, University of Maryland

Nan Jiang is Professor of Second Language Acquisition at the University of Maryland. His research interests include lexical representation and development in a second language, morphosyntactic processing, semantic development, and bilingual language processing. His publications include Conducting Reaction Time Research in Second Language Studies (Routledge, 2012) and Second Language Processing: An Introduction (Routledge, 2018), as well as numerous journal articles in the fields of second language acquisition, applied linguistics, and psycholinguistics.

Table of Contents

    List of figures and tables
    List of abbreviations
    1. Introducing bilingual processing research
    2. Lexico-semantic organization in bilinguals
    3. Cross-language priming
    4. Selectivity in bilingual lexical access
    5. Language switch and control in bilinguals
    6. Bilingualism beyond lexical representation and processing

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