Distributed representations and the bilingual lexicon: One store or two?

  • Michael S. C. Thomas
Conference paper
Part of the Perspectives in Neural Computing book series (PERSPECT.NEURAL)


Several researchers have put forward models of bilingual lexical representation based on extensions to traditional monolingual models, such as those using serial search and interactive activation paradigms. In this paper we examine the implications of employing a distributed notion of lexical representation in a model of the bilingual lexicon. A model is presented that stores knowledge about the words in two languages in a single connectionist network. The model simulates both empirical evidence taken to indicate independent lexical representations, as well as evidence of between language similarity effects. The latter type of evidence is problematic for models which employ strictly independent lexical representations for each language. The implications of evidence from bilingual language development and from second language acquisition are discussed.


Lexical Decision Task Word Form Lexical Representation Cognitive Science Society Translation Equivalent 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael S. C. Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKing Alfred’s CollegeWinchesterUK

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