Previous research on bilingual language switching costs has demonstrated asymmetrical switch costs, driven primarily by language dominance, such that switches into a moredominant language incur significantly greater reaction time delays than switches into a less dominant language. While such studies have generally relied on a fixed ratio of switch to non-switch tokens, it is clear that bilinguals operate not in a fixed ratio, but along a naturally occurring bilingual continuum of modes or contexts. Bridging the concepts of language switching and language context, the current study examines language switching costs through a cued-picture naming study with variable contexts or modes. Results demonstrate that switch costs are dependent upon both language dominance and language context, with asymmetrical costs found in more monolingual mode and symmetrical costs found in bilingual mode. Implications are discussed with respect to language mode and gradient inhibitory mechanisms of language selection.


This is the author accepted manuscript of The Gradient Effect of Context on Language Switching and Lexical Access in Bilingual Production . Copyright Cambridge University Press, it is made available here CC-BY-NC-ND, and the version of record is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0142716415000223

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