The Bilingual Lexicon

Judith F. Kroll and Ton Dijkstra

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Bilingual Lexicon


How do bilinguals recognize and speak words in each of their two languages? Past research on the bilingual lexicon focused on the questions of whether bilinguals represent words in each language in a single lexicon or in separate lexicons and whether access to the lexicon is selective or not. Bilingual lexicon is the focus of this article. These questions endured because they constitute a set of correlated assumptions that have only recently been teased apart. One concerns the relation between representation and process. Another issue concerns the way in which the lexicon itself has been operationalized. Different assumptions about the information required to recognize and speak a word in the first or second language have led to models of the bilingual lexicon that differ in the types and levels of codes. This article reviews the way in which models of the bilingual lexicon reflect different assumptions about the architecture and processing of words in two languages.

Keywords: lexicon; bilingual lexicon; single lexicon; correlated assumptions; architecture

Article.  8908 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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