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Verbal Working Memory in Bilinguals: An Exploratory Study

Darshan H. S., Deepak P., Archana Rao R., S. P. Goswami


The purpose of the study is to investigate Verbal Working Memory (VWM) abilities in bilinguals. Since previous literatures mainly focused on nonverbal aspects of memory, the present study aims to proliferate knowledge on the linguistic aspects of working memory. A total of 30 bilinguals aged between 18 and 30 years were recruited for the study. However, bilingual group had further breakdown into two groups with 15 in each based-on age of second language (L2) acquisition. Wherein, participants performed sentence judgement and recall task simultaneously. These tasks encompassed of two grammatical classes of words: nouns and verbs. However, participants performances were scored as correct or incorrect response based on binary scoring system, i.e., ‘0’ for incorrect and ‘1’ for correct responses. Results of the study revealed that there was no significant difference between the performances of both groups on verbal working memory span and sentence judgement task. On the other hand, the present study found there was a within group differences. Apparently, when comparing within group performance, nouns performance was larger than verbs. In summary, the present study exploits the knowledge on linguistic aspects of working memory. However, paradigm used in the study, aids in understanding the processing involved in working memory. Furthermore, the result of the present study delineates the notion of cognitive advantage in bilinguals’ group. However, researcher found intriguing performance across different grammatical class of words.


Keywords: Bilinguals, cognition, linguistics, nouns, verbs, working memory

Cite this Article

Darshan H.S., Deepak P., Archana Rao R., S.P. Goswami. Verbal Working Memory in Bilinguals: An Exploratory Study. Research & Reviews: A Journal of Health Professions. 2020; 10(1): 37–47p.


Cognition, Linguistics, working-memory, nouns, verbs and bilinguals.

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