Examining the relationship between comprehension and production processes in code-switched language

Rosa E. Guzzardo Tamargo, Jorge R. Valdés Kroff, Paola E. Dussias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


We employ code-switching (the alternation of two languages in bilingual communication) to test the hypothesis, derived from experience-based models of processing (e.g., Boland, Tanenhaus, Carlson, & Garnsey, 1989; Gennari & MacDonald, 2009), that bilinguals are sensitive to the combinatorial distributional patterns derived from production and that they use this information to guide processing during the comprehension of code-switched sentences. An analysis of spontaneous bilingual speech confirmed the existence of production asymmetries involving two auxiliary + participle phrases in Spanish-English code-switches. A subsequent eye-tracking study with two groups of bilingual code-switchers examined the consequences of the differences in distributional patterns found in the corpus study for comprehension. Participants' comprehension costs mirrored the production patterns found in the corpus study. Findings are discussed in terms of the constraints that may be responsible for the distributional patterns in code-switching production and are situated within recent proposals of the links between production and comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-161
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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