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Brain Lang. 1989 Jan;36(1):3-15.

Neurolinguists, beware! The bilingual is not two monolinguals in one person.

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Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland.


Two views of bilingualism are presented--the monolingual or fractional view which holds that the bilingual is (or should be) two monolinguals in one person, and the bilingual or wholistic view which states that the coexistence of two languages in the bilingual has produced a unique and specific speaker-hearer. These views affect how we compare monolinguals and bilinguals, study language learning and language forgetting, and examine the speech modes--monolingual and bilingual--that characterize the bilingual's everyday interactions. The implications of the wholistic view on the neurolinguistics of bilingualism, and in particular bilingual aphasia, are discussed.

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