Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 137–154 | Cite as

Development of intra- and interlingual interference in bilinguals

  • Edith Mägiste


Developmental changes in intra- and interlingual interference were followed in 74 German-Swedish bilingual and 15 trilingual subjects using Stroop tasks for vision. The results provide evidence that the differential pattern of interference is mainly determined by language usage. Intra- and interlingual interference follow language dominance patterns in an everchanging process; hence, it is the point of measurement that determines whether equivalent or different amounts of interference are obtained. Stimuli characteristics determine points of language balance but are—like cognitive capabilities—of minor importance for the differential pattern of interference. Stroop task performance cannot be taken as evidence for or against the interdependence hypothesis of bilingual storage, since the Stroop situation does not permit one language to be turned off. Prolonged response times in multilinguals, found in this study, are more congruent with the interdependence hypothesis. By providing this developmental perspective, the current findings can explain previous contradictory results.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edith Mägiste
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden

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