Language familiarity effects in short-term memory: The role of output delay and long-term knowledge

Authors: Thorn, Annabel S. C.1; Gathercole, Susan E.2; Frankish, Clive R.1

Source: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A, 1 October 2002, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 1363-1383(21)


Buy & download fulltext article:

The full text article is temporarily unavailable.

We apologise for the inconvenience. Please try again later.


Four experiments examined the origins of language familiarity effects in bilingual short-term recall. In Experiments 1A and 1B, bilingual adults were tested on serial recall and probed serial recall of words and nonwords in their first and second languages. A first-language advantage was obtained on both measures, indicating that the beneficial effects of language familiarity are not exclusively attributable to lesser output delay during overt recall. In Experiments 2A and 2B, the same group of bilinguals was tested on serial recall and serial recognition of word lists in both languages. Although a sizeable first-language advantage was obtained on the serial recall measure, recognition performance was comparable in the two languages. On the basis of these results it is suggested that language differences in bilingual immediate memory arise in large part as a consequence of the differential availability of language-specific long-term knowledge with which to support retrieval processes in serial recall.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Bristol, Bristol, UK 2: University of Durham, Durham, UK

Publication date: October 1, 2002

Related content


Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page