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The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, 2nd Edition by William C. Ritchie, Tej K. Bhatia

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10 

An Appraisal of the Bilingual Language Production System: Quantitatively or Qualitatively Different from Monolinguals?

ELIN RUNNQVIST, IAN FITZPATRICK, KRISTOF STRIJKERS, AND ALBERT COSTA

Introduction

Few people would dispute that speaking more than one language poses additional challenges above and beyond those faced if there is only one language to contend with. The necessity for bilinguals to keep separate and to coordinate their languages raises an important question that has been central to much of the work on bilingual processing, namely whether becoming a bilingual entails only quantitative changes in one’s language production infrastructure (e.g., additional lexical entries, a larger phoneme inventory) or whether it brings about more qualitative changes (e.g., a system dedicated to language control). In this chapter we will delve deeper into purported processing differences between monolinguals and bilinguals and attempt to ascertain whether they constitute qualitative and/or quantitative changes in the language production system. To this end, we shall take current knowledge of monolingual language production as our starting point and will attempt to uncover potential differences between monolinguals and bilinguals at each level of processing.

The weight of the current literature on bilingual speech production lies in studies at the lexical level (a fact that will necessarily be reflected in the amount of space devoted to lexical processing in the present chapter). ...

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