How Individual Difference Measures Inform Event Processing in Monolingual and Early and Late Bilingual Spanish Speakers
Bilingual speakers' two languages are highly coactivated and compete for selection even when speaking one language alone (Kroll et al., 2006; Blumenfeld & Marian, 2007; Marian & Spivey, 2003). The constant state of language coactivation and competition for selection has supported the hypothesis that bilingual speakers are highly skilled at managing competition and at resolving conflict in the linguistic domain (Blumenfeld & Marian, 2011) and when processing language-independent information (Bialystok et al, 2009). Previous work in lexical prediction has suggested that both monolinguals and bilinguals recruit inhibitory control in order to manage conflict when prediction errors arise (Zirnstein, Van Hell, & Kroll, 2017). What is less understood is how cognitive control ability affects the earlier anticipation of upcoming words or events, and how this might be impacted by bilingual experience. We assessed how individual differences in executive functioning predicted performance in event comprehension, in both monolinguals and in bilingual speakers who are processing the information in their dominant language (L1) or their second language (L2). Individuals anticipate the end state of an action when hearing change of state verbs also need to maintain multiple object state representations when processing an event (Hindy, Altmann, Kalenik, & Thompson-Schill, 2012). In our study, participants completed a visual world paradigm task containing a change of state verb and no change of state verb, the AX-Continuous Performance Task (AX-CPT); an index of goal maintenance and inhibitory control, e.g., Braver et al., 2001), and a pro- and anti-saccade task to measure attention and inhibition. The preliminary results of this study show that visual cueing and cognitive control abilities modulate real-time event processing in language comprehension.