A COMPARISON OF SEMANTIC CONVERGENCE IN YOUNGER AND OLDER HINDI-ENGLISH BILINGUAL SPEAKERS
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Semantic convergence offers support that the bilingual language system comprises a merging of two languages rather than the sum of two languages. This phenomenon has been studied in multiple language areas and in young children and adults. However, it is unclear how semantic convergence compares across grammatical class and across the lifespan. In this study, Hindi-English aging and adult bilinguals completed a word association task in response to verb and noun stimuli. Results showed that younger adult bilinguals experience more semantic convergence compared to older adult bilinguals, and that semantic convergence is greater for nouns compared to verbs. The results for word class are discussed in the context of the retrieval induced reconsolidation hypothesis, cross-language interference hypothesis, and weaker links hypothesis. The implications for aging are contextualized within the current research on aging and bilingualism.