Triggered code-switching

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This paper presents experimental evidence that cognates can trigger codeswitching. In two picture naming experiments, Dutch-English bilinguals switched between Dutch and English. Crucial words followed either a cognate or a non-cognate. In Experiment 1, response language was indicated by a color cue, and crucial trials always required a switch. Crucial trials had shorter reaction times after a cognate than after a non-cognate. In Experiment 2, response language was not cued and participants switched freely between the languages. Words after cognates were switched more often than words after non-cognates, for switching from L1 to L2 only. Both experiments thus showed that cognates facilitated language switching of the following word. The results extend evidence for triggered codeswitching from natural speech analyses.


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