Comprehension patterns of two groups of Spanish-English bilingual codeswitchers
Current knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the production and comprehension of codeswitches derives largely from studies with bilingual speakers who do not codeswitch or who report codeswitching (CS), but do not belong to stable bilingual communities. Although these data have a place in CS research, the foundational knowledge must characterize bilinguals in communities where CS is linked to community norms. We examine this issue by comparing a group of Spanish-English bilinguals from Harlem, home to a well-defined community with regular CS, and a group of Spanish-English bilinguals who resemble participants of past lab studies. We recorded eye movements while participants read frequent and infrequent switches found in Spanish-English corpora. Despite differences between both groups, the findings revealed strikingly similar eye-movement patterns.