Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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  • Experimental contributions of eye-tracking to the understanding of comprehension processes while hearing and reading code-switches

  • Author(s): Jorge R. Valdés Kroff 1 , Rosa E. Guzzardo Tamargo 2  and Paola E. Dussias 3, 4
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    1 Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Florida
    2 Department of Hispanic Studies, Graduate Program of Linguistics, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras
    3 Center for Language Science, Penn State University
    4 Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, Penn State University
  • Source: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Volume 8, Issue 1, Jan 2018, p. 98 - 133
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/lab.16011.val
    • Received: 24 Feb 2016
    • Accepted: 04 Apr 2017
    • Version of Record published : 17 May 2017
    • Corrected: 21 Feb 2018


Researchers who study code-switching using lab-based approaches face a series of methodological challenges; these include, but are not limited to, using adequate techniques and tasks that allow for processing that reflects real-language usage and selecting stimuli that reflect the participants’ code-switching community norms. We present two illustrative eye-tracking studies that consider these challenges. Study 1 tests whether experience with code-switching leads to differential processing of Spanish determiner-English noun code-switches (e.g., ‘a cookie’). Study 2 examines auxiliary-verb code-switches involving the progressive structure (e.g., ‘are cooking’) and perfect structure (e.g., ‘have cooked’) while participants read either for comprehension or provide grammaticality judgments. The results of both studies highlight the advantages that eye-tracking provides when its use is accompanied by an appropriate bilingual sample, by stimuli that reflect actual bilingual language use, and by secondary tasks that do not invoke metalinguistic processes.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): code-switching; eye-tracking methodology; sentence processing
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