Beyond the tried and true: How virtual reality, dialog setups, and a focus on multimodality can take bilingual language production research forward
Bilinguals possess the ability of expressing themselves in more than one language, and typically do so in contextually rich and dynamic settings. Theories and models have indeed long considered context factors to affect bilingual language production in many ways. However, most experimental studies in this domain have failed to fully incorporate linguistic, social, or physical context aspects, let alone combine them in the same study. Indeed, most experimental psycholinguistic research has taken place in isolated and constrained lab settings with carefully selected words or sentences, rather than under rich and naturalistic conditions. We argue that the most influential experimental paradigms in the psycholinguistic study of bilingual language production fall short of capturing the effects of context on language processing and control presupposed by prominent models. This paper therefore aims to enrich the methodological basis for investigating context aspects in current experimental paradigms and thereby move the field of bilingual language production research forward theoretically. After considering extensions of existing paradigms proposed to address context effects, we present three far-ranging innovative proposals, focusing on virtual reality, dialog situations, and multimodality in the context of bilingual language production.
Publication typeJournal article