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Auteur: Hsiu-ling HSU

Bilingual and Trilingual Advantages in the Language Production: Evidence from speech errors and efforts needed for self-repair

Abstract/Résumé: Through the analysis of response latencies, speech errors, and self-repairs in Mandarin, this investigation explores how monolingual, bilingual, and trilingual adults process their speech production differently by using cognitive control mechanisms. This study conducted two experiments of speech production in Mandarin. In the two experiments, 81 adults participated and were categorized into three language groups: Mandarin monolingual, Hakka-Mandarin bilingual, and Hakka-Mandarin-Southern Min trilingual. In Experiment 1 (an unpredictable-context) task, each subject read 250 Chinese characters like kwan /kwan/ 'to view', which were presented on the computer screen one at a time. In Experiment 2 (a predictable- context task), each subject read a list of 466 words or phrases (e.g., kwang-tong- kwang-hsi "to look around"), printed on a sheet of A4 paper. The results of Experiment 1 showed that bilinguals and trilinguals outperformed monolinguals in every respect examined in this research, unveiling the presence of bilingual and trilingual advantages on inhibitory control in the unpredictable context. Interestingly, in Experiment 2, we found a more complex pattern of results. The effect of trilingualism on the frequency of the occurrence of errors and error-corrections was found in the predictable context, implying that a trilingual advantage in attentional control occurred during the L2 production; however, the bilingual adults did not maintain their advantage on the task that required control of attention. These experimental results revealed that the difference between the language groups became clearer when the inhibitory control demands increased and that the bilingual advantage in cognitive control emerged in more limited contexts in comparison to the trilingual advantage.