Statistical Learning and Bilingualism Purpose Over the last 2 decades, research on statistical learning has demonstrated its importance in supporting language development. Notably, most of the research to date has focused on monolingual populations (or has not reported the language background of participants). Several recent studies, however, have begun to focus on the impact ... Review Article
Review Article  |   August 14, 2018
Statistical Learning and Bilingualism
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Federica Bulgarelli
    Department of Psychology and Program in Linguistics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Amy L. Lebkuecher
    Department of Psychology and Program in Linguistics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Daniel J. Weiss
    Department of Psychology and Program in Linguistics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Federica Bulgarelli: fub113@psu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Mary Alt
    Editor-in-Chief: Mary Alt×
  • Editor: Mary Alt
    Editor: Mary Alt×
  • Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: How Statistical Learning Relates to Speech-Language Pathology.
    Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: How Statistical Learning Relates to Speech-Language Pathology.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Special Issue: How Statistical Learning Relates to Speech-Language Pathology / Review Articles
Review Article   |   August 14, 2018
Statistical Learning and Bilingualism
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, August 2018, Vol. 49, 740-753. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-STLT1-17-0139
History: Received December 4, 2017 , Revised January 22, 2018 , Accepted March 5, 2018
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, August 2018, Vol. 49, 740-753. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-STLT1-17-0139
History: Received December 4, 2017; Revised January 22, 2018; Accepted March 5, 2018

Purpose Over the last 2 decades, research on statistical learning has demonstrated its importance in supporting language development. Notably, most of the research to date has focused on monolingual populations (or has not reported the language background of participants). Several recent studies, however, have begun to focus on the impact of bilingualism on statistical learning. To date, the results have been quite mixed, with a handful of studies finding differences between monolinguals and bilinguals and several other studies reporting no differences. Thus, the purpose of this manuscript is to review the literature to date on how bilingualism impacts statistical learning abilities.

Method We review the contemporary literature, organized by the age of participants and by task when relevant.

Conclusions We note that there are many discrepant findings within this nascent field, although some trends have emerged. For instance, differences in performance may be attributed to factors such as age of acquisition. However, we note that the state of the field does not yet permit firm clinical recommendations.

Acknowledgments
The writing of this manuscript was facilitated by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Grant to FB.
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