The influence of language dominance and domain-general executive control on semantic context effects

Jaume Boned, Gemma Cardona, Beth Jefferies, Mireia Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated whether semantic context effects in speech production and
comprehension are sensitive to language dominance and whether they involve domaingeneral executive control. We indexed these effects using semantic blocking within the cyclical semantic paradigm (corresponding to poorer performance in semantically related contexts compared to unrelated contexts) in a study that addressed the limitations of previous research: (i) we compared semantic blocking between participants tested in their native language and those tested in a language they were clearly less proficient in (not just the less dominant language), and (ii) we examined the involvement of executive control with a non-linguistic (rather than a linguistic) index. Participants in both groups showed equal semantic blocking in production and comprehension. Executive control only predicted the magnitude of semantic blocking in speech production. These results suggest that semantic context effects are insensitive to
language dominance, and that effects of executive control arise in production tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-884
Number of pages28
JournalLanguage Cognition and Neuroscience
Issue number7
Early online date6 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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