Language interference and inhibition in early and late successive bilingualism

Eleni Peristeri, Ianthi Maria Tsimpli, Antonella Sorace, Kyrana Tsapkini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The present study explores whether age of onset of exposure to the second language affects interference resolution at the grammatical gender level and whether cognitive functions contribute to interference resolution. Early and late successive Serbian-Greek bilinguals living in the second language context, along with monolinguals, performed a picture-word interference naming task in a single-language context and a non-verbal inhibition task. We found that gender interference from the first language was only present in late successive bilinguals. Early bilinguals exhibited no interference from the grammatical gender of their mother tongue and showed more enhanced inhibitory abilities than the rest of the groups in the non-verbal task. The distinct sizes of interference from the grammatical gender of the first language across the two bilingual groups is explained by early successive bilinguals' more enhanced domain-general inhibitory processes in the resolution of between-language conflict at the grammatical gender level relative to late successive bilinguals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1034
Number of pages26
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • age of onset
  • bilingualism
  • grammatical gender
  • inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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