The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 75–98 | Cite as

An Analog Study of First Language Dominance and Interference over Second Language

  • Ramona Houmanfar
  • Linda J. Hayes
  • Scott A. Herbst


The purpose of this study was to design a model for “first language” dominance over “second language” performance and the interference of one language over the other. Two sets of equivalence relations showing a common element (i.e., the reference) were established under different contextual conditions. One set (“first language”) was over trained relative to the other (“second language”). Dominance of the “first language,” as demonstrated in relations involving the common element, was determined by examining performances in the absence of contextual stimuli. Interference by one language over the other was modeled by examining the degree to which resurgence of “first language” and “second language” relations would occur in extinction, following a period of exposure to inconsistent test trials. In addition, both selection-based (i.e., copy text) and topography-based (i.e., intraverbal) equivalence were examined in these areas. The results demonstrated that the development of an analog for a bilingual repertoire, the domination of the “first language” over the “second language” and the interference of one language over the other, were established.

Key words

first language second language bilingual repertoire dominance interference 


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramona Houmanfar
    • 1
  • Linda J. Hayes
    • 1
  • Scott A. Herbst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology/296University of Nevada-RenoRenoUSA

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