Divergence and overlap in bilingual conceptual representation: does prior language brokering experience matter? Academic Article uri icon


  • The present research examined whether conceptual divergence is reduced in bilinguals with extensive informal translation experience. Across two experiments, SpanishEnglish bilinguals (brokers vs. non-brokers) generated exemplars for 10 categories, using the same or different language across sessions. Both groups demonstrated more divergence for different than same language responses across sessions a week apart. More convergence was found in both groups for no delay compared to delayed responses. Brokers showed significantly more convergence in exemplars than non-brokers; for both immediate and delayed sessions Findings indicate exemplars are differentially accessible depending on language and timing of response, but also individual differences in brokering experience. Extensive brokering experience may lead to a more integrated conceptual representation for features of concepts shared across languages. Findings support concept models that emphasize the dynamic and distributed nature of concepts, and underscore the need to consider the cognitive impact of systematic sources of variability among bilinguals.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Lopez, B. G., & Vaid, J.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Lopez, Belem G||Vaid, Jyotsna

publication date

  • January 2018