9. The Comprehension of Words and Sentences in Two Languages

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Judith F. Kroll and
  2. Paola E. Dussias

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch9

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Kroll, J. F. and Dussias, P. E. (2012) The Comprehension of Words and Sentences in Two Languages, 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.ch9

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. Pennsylvania State University, USA

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382

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Keywords:

  • bilingual word recognition;
  • bilingualism;
  • comprehension of words;
  • cross-language activation;
  • L2 learners;
  • lexical processing;
  • sentences;
  • word recognition

Summary

This chapter reviews recent developments on the comprehension of words and sentences in two languages, which show that the lexicon and grammar have more in common than previously understood. It focuses primarily on comprehension in relatively proficient bilinguals, and reports the results of studies on second language (L2) learners where those results hold important theoretical implications for understanding bilingual performance. The chapter offers a brief review of bilingual word recognition, which focuses primarily on visual word recognition. It discusses the shallow structure hypothesis, a proposal formulated to account for presumed differences in native and nonnative syntactic processing. Recent neurophysiological evidence suggesting striking similarities between native speakers and L2 learners during the processing of syntactic violations and ambiguity resolution are also presented, followed by a brief review on the influence of the L2 on first language (L1) syntactic processing.