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Performance of Semantic Fluency tasks in Swahili-English Bilinguals




Verbal fluency tests i.e. Semantic fluency tasks- are a neurophysiological test of verbal functioning, providing information on multiple cognitive processes used by an individual. Literature has shown that is it still unresolved as to if bilinguals show a specific linguistic disadvantage or advantage over certain cognitive processes in such tasks. This study aims to determine the performance of verbal fluency tasks i.e. semantic tasks amongst native primary language, Swahili (L1) – English (L2) Bilinguals. Semantic fluency data (Animals, Fruits & Objects of daily living) was collected from thirty adults (15:15; Males: Females) in both languages. Data analysis included measures of total number of responses (LR), size of correct productions (SCP) and reaction time (in secs). Results of the current study revealed 1) No overall significant gender effect. 2) Performance of semantic fluency tasks of Animals and Objects of daily living were performed significantly better compared to Fruits in both languages 3) Semantic fluency tasks were performed significantly better in their L2. Concluding that performances of semantic fluency tasks depend on different cognitive strategies. They also postulate the presence of a general lexical access disadvantage and a weak lexical network structure in bilinguals that affect their performance during verbal fluency tasks.


Keywords: Bilingualism; Gender; Language effects; Swahili; Verbal fluency tasks

Cite this Article

Ann Jemimah Peter, Reeny Roy. Performance of Semantic Fluency tasks in Swahili-English Bilinguals. Research & Reviews: A Journal of Bioinformatics. 2020; 7(2): 1–8p.

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