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Article

Predictors of lexical retrieval in Hindi–English bilingual speakers

Ramanujan K., Weekes B.

When bilinguals name pictures while in ‘monolingual mode’, we expect that under conditions of language-constraint and no cognate facilitation, factors influencing lexical retrieval in monolinguals ought to exert similar effects on bilinguals. To this end, we carried out a L1-only naming task on early Hindi–English bilinguals. Results of linear mixed effects analysis reveal AoA, Familiarity, Image Agreement and Codability (availability of alternate names) to be the most significant predictors of lexical retrieval speed for early bilinguals, confirming our expectations. However, we report, for the first time, a by-subject variation in Codability for bilinguals. Implications of the results are discussed in the context of current theories of bilingual lexical access and competition. In preparation for this study, Hindi norms from bilinguals for items in the Snodgrass and Vanderwart set have been established, which will be of use for stimuli selection in experimental studies involving bilinguals.