ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (1): 37-48.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00037

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The switch costs in bilingual speech production: From a single word to sentence context

WU Limei1; WU Guohua2; CHEN Zhuoming3   

  1. (1 College of Chinese Language and Culture, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510610, China) (2 School of Educational Technology and Communication, Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University, Guangzhou 510665, China)(3 The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China)
  • Received:2016-04-18 Online:2017-01-15 Published:2017-01-15
  • Contact: WU Guohua, E-mail:


The bilinguals typically make more errors and spend more time when switching between different languages, which is termed “code-switching costs”. The code-switching costs provide a useful insight into how bilinguals control languages and have attracted wide research attentions in recent years, particularly in the field of speech production, for the process of speech production fully reveals the bilinguals’ proactive control of languages. A primary paradigm with the task of a single word production without context has been used to explored where (i.e., locus) and how (i.e., mechanisms) code-switching costs occur. Recently, some novel paradigms were implemented to investigate the influence of sentence context on code-switching. The different patterns of code-switching costs which were obtained under the different experimental settings were interpreted in terms of code-switching cues, perception and expectation processes. Based on the literature and discussion, the characteristic of code-switching in bilinguals’ speech production in everyday life was assumed, and the prospects for the future studies are considered.

Key words: code-switching costs, speech production, bilinguals