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The threshold hypothesis revisited: bilingual lexical knowledge and non-verbal IQ development

Daller, M. and Ongun, Z. (2018) The threshold hypothesis revisited: bilingual lexical knowledge and non-verbal IQ development. International Journal of Bilingualism, 22 (6). pp. 675-694. ISSN 1756-6878

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/1367006917690835


The threshold hypothesis (Cummins 1976 et passim) is one of the most influential theoretical frameworks on the relation between bilingualism and cognition. The aim of our study is to contribute towards an operationalisation of the threshold hypothesis. We analyse data from 100 Turkish-English successive bilingual children and from their parents, and investigate the relation between bilingualism and cognition. When compared with monolingual control groups, the bilinguals in our study have smaller vocabulary sizes in both languages. However, when both vocabularies are taken together and the total conceptual vocabulary is computed no bilingual disadvantage can be identified. Children with parental support for L1 outperform the monolingual control groups in our study in terms of non-verbal intelligence scores. The originality of the present study resides in the fact that, to our knowledge, for the first time parental support for L1 and dominance in L1 is linked to the cognitive development of the children.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
ID Code:69439


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