Skip to main content

New approaches to concepts in bilingual memory

  • Aneta Pavlenko (a1)
    • Published online: 01 December 1999

In this paper, I argue that current approaches to modeling of concepts in bilingual memory privilege word representation at the expense of concept representation. I identify four problems with the study of concepts in bilingual memory: conflation of semantic and conceptual levels of representation; scarcity of methods targeting conceptual representation; assumption of the static nature of the conceptual store; and insufficient acknowledgment of linguistic and cultural specificity of concepts. Basing my arguments on recent developments in the fields of neurolinguistics, linguistics, psychology, linguistic anthropology, and second language acquisition, I suggest new approaches to the study of concepts in bilingualism, based on notions of concept comparability and concept encoding. Subsequently, I discuss various ways in which concepts could develop and interact with each other in bilingual memory and address possible individual, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic constraints on conceptual representation and interaction in bilingual memory.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: CITE Department, College of Education, Ritter Hall, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122. Phone: 215-204-3792 E-mail:
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
  • ISSN: 1366-7289
  • EISSN: 1469-1841
  • URL: /core/journals/bilingualism-language-and-cognition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 8
Total number of PDF views: 178 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 712 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.