Is mere exposure enough? the effects of bilingual environments on infant cognitive development

Dean D'Souza, Daniel Brady, Jennifer Haensel & Hana D'Souza
Bilinguals purportedly outperform monolinguals in nonverbal tasks of cognitive control (the ‘bilingual advantage’). The most common explanation is that managing two languages during language production constantly draws upon, and thus strengthens, domain general inhibitory mechanisms (Green, 1998). However, this theory cannot explain why a bilingual advantage has been found in preverbal infants (Kovacs & Mehler, 2009). An alternative explanation is needed. We propose that exposure to more varied, less predictable (language) environments drive infants to...
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