When Bilinguals Listen, by Francois Grosjean, PhD

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When Bilinguals Listen

Is speech perception in bilinguals always nonselective?
Published on September 21, 2013 by Francois Grosjean, Ph.D. in Life as a Bilingual

In an earlier post, we saw that bilingual language production is a dynamic process which can operate in different language activation states depending on a number of factors (see here). These can be linguistic but also psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic such as who you are talking to, whether you are using the “right language” to talk about the subject in question, how well you know the language you are speaking, how recently you have spoken the other language, the presence of speakers of the other language(s), and so on.

Is this also true of language perception? Researchers have spent considerable time examining the way bilinguals listen to, or read, their languages, and for many years they came to the conclusion that perceptual processing is nonselective…

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