Mental control of the bilingual lexico-semantic system

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This paper aims to foster discussion of the means by which bilinguals control their two language systems. It proposes an inhibitory control (IC) model that embodies the principle that there are multiple levels of control. In the model a language task schema (modulated by a higher level of control) “reactively” inhibits potential competitors for production at the lemma level by virtue of their language tags. The IC model is used to expand the explanation of the effect of category blocking in translation proposed by Kroll and Stewart (1994), and predictions of the model are tested against other data. Its relationship to other proposals and models is considered and future directions proposed.

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