11. Bilingual Memory

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Roberto R. Heredia and
  2. Jeffrey M. Brown

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch11

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Heredia, R. R. and Brown, J. M. (2012) Bilingual Memory, in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition (eds T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch11

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382



  • bilingual dual coding theory;
  • bilingual lexical access;
  • bilingual memory structure;
  • hierarchical models;
  • word type


This chapter provides a general overview of some of the major theories psycholinguistics have employed to explain how bilinguals store and access information from and between their two languages. It starts with reviews on early theoretical formulations, and goes on to evaluate Paivio's bilingual dual coding theory, and the highly influential hierarchical models that assume a bilingual memory structure composed of language-specific mental lexicons and a shared conceptual representation. Next, it critically evaluates the distributed model of bilingual memory that poses a bilingual memory structure based on word type. The chapter concludes by evaluating the possibility that bilingual lexical access might be language-nonselective in which the bilingual's two languages continuously interact and compete for activation during the language comprehension process.