THE ROLE OF DOMAIN GENERAL COGNITIVE MECHANISMS IN BILINGUAL LANGUAGE PRODUCTION
Shell, Alison Ruppel
Slevc, L. Robert
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Bilingual language production is widely believed to be a competitive process. Bilinguals may manage this competition by relying on inhibiting one language while speaking in the other. However, it remains unclear if this process relies on domain general inhibitory mechanisms, and, if so, when and where during language production control is applied. The current study investigates these issues by experimentally manipulating demand on inhibitory control using tasks requiring domain-general inhibitory control, during a language switch task paradigm. If inhibitory control is required in language switching and is a domain general, inhibitory demand during the switch trials is predicted to make the switch more difficult. Across the experiments, switching costs were not exacerbated when inhibitory control was taxed; if anything, language switching was less costly during inhibition-demanding trials. These findings question the role of inhibitory control in language switching and suggest revising the current models of language control in bilingual production.