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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 13, 2017

The N400 as a window into lexico-semantic processing in bilingualism

  • Katarzyna Jankowiak EMAIL logo and Karolina Rataj


Event related potentials (ERPs) have frequently been employed to investigate language comprehension. One of the best researched language-related ERP components is the N400, which is sensitive to various linguistic factors (e.g. plausibility, word frequency, predictability, word-level associations), and is therefore commonly referred to as an index of lexico-semantic memory. Systematic research into electrophysiological indexes of lexico-semantic processing in bilingualism and its comparison with existing monolingual research remains a crucial research avenue. This review synthesizes the literature on the N400 effects observed in bilingual language comprehension studies in the context of selected models of bilingual lexico-semantic processing (i.e. RHM, BIA+), points to potential reasons behind some contradictory results, presents current trends in ERP bilingual research, identifies gaps in this area of research, and, finally, proposes future research directions.


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Published Online: 2017-5-13
Published in Print: 2017-5-24

© 2017 Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland

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