Category: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition

Improved statistical learning abilities in adult bilinguals

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 427-433 Abstract “Using multiple languages may confer distinct advantages in cognitive control, yet it is unclear whether bilingualism is associated with better implicit statistical learning, a core cognitive ability underlying language. We tested bilingual adults on a challenging task requiring simultaneous learning of two miniature grammars characterized by different statistics. We found that participants learned each grammar significantly better than chance and both grammars equally well. Crucially, a validated continuous measure of bilingual dominance predicted accuracy scores for both artificial grammars in a generalized linear model. The study thus demonstrates the… Read More

Foreigner talk through word reduction in native/non-native spoken interactions

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 419-426 Abstract “We explore the properties of foreigner talk through word reduction. Word reduction signals that the speaker is referring to the same entity as previously and should be preserved for foreigner talk. However, it leads to intelligibility loss, which works against foreigner talk. Pairs of speakers engaged in a task where native speakers talked either to a native or non-native listener. Natives talking to non-natives performed foreigner talk for duration and intensity. Duration and intensity were reduced for native and non-native listeners equally. These results suggest that word reduction is… Read More

Beyond global differences between monolingual and bilingual children on the nonword repetition task: retention skills for phonemes’ identity and serial order

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 403-418 Abstract “This study compared NRT-performance in monolingual Dutch and bilingual Turkish–Dutch third-graders using a Dutch Nonword Repetition Task (NRT). Several novel response analyses at the phoneme level were applied to further understand the earlier reported overall accuracy differences in NRT-performance between bilinguals and monolinguals. Analyses in which the retention of phonemes and the retention of their serial order were disentangled revealed that monolinguals outperform bilinguals with respect to the retention of the phonemes themselves. However, both groups did not differ in their retention of the serial order of correctly recalled… Read More

Bilingual and monolingual children process pragmatic cues differently when learning novel adjectives

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 384-402 Abstract “Previous studies have shown bilingually and monolingually developing children to differ in their sensitivity to referential pragmatic deixis in challenging tasks, with bilinguals exhibiting a higher sensitivity. The learning of adjectives is particularly challenging, but has rarely been investigated in bilingual children. In the present study we presented a pragmatic cue supporting the learning of novel adjectives to 32 Spanish–German bilingual and 28 German monolingual 5-year-olds. The children’s responses to a descriptive hand gesture highlighting an object’s property were measured behaviorally using a forced choice task and neurophysiologically through… Read More

Automatic semantic integration during L2 sentential reading

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 375-383 Abstract “Research has shown that L1 speakers can routinely generate mental imagery corresponding to sentence meaning in reading comprehension. This may reflect an efficient process of semantic integration in which information from the input combines with an individual’s linguistic and real world knowledge to form a semantic representation of a sentence. Semantic integration in L2 reading has received limited attention. The present study attempted to examine the activation of mental imagery in reading among L2 speakers and thus to assess the efficiency of semantic integration during L2 reading. L2 Korean… Read More

Lexical access in the second year: a study of monolingual and bilingual vocabulary development

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 314-327 Abstract “It is well established that vocabulary size is related to efficiency in auditory processing, such that children with larger vocabularies recognize words faster than children with smaller vocabularies. The present study evaluates whether this relation is specific to the language being assessed, or related to general language or cognitive processes. Speed of word processing was measured longitudinally in Spanish- and English-learning monolinguals and bilinguals at 16 and 22 months of age. Speed of processing in bilinguals was similar to monolinguals, suggesting that the number of languages to which children… Read More

The role of working memory in processing L2 input: Insights from eye-tracking

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 355-374 Abstract “Our study investigated how attention paid to a target syntactic construction causative had is related to the storage capacity and attention regulation function of working memory (WM) and how these WM abilities moderate the change of knowledge of the target construction in different input conditions. 80 Sri Lankan learners of English were exposed to examples of the target construction in explicit and implicit learning conditions and their eye movements were tracked as they read the input. Correlational and multiple regression analyses indicated a very strong relationship between WM abilities and gains… Read More

Languages flex cultural thinking

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 219-227 Abstract “Recent studies have revealed remarkable interactions between language and emotion. Here, we show that such interactions influence judgments made regarding cultural information. Balanced Welsh–English bilinguals categorized statements about their native Welsh culture as true or false. Whilst participants categorized positive statements as true when they were true, they were biased towards categorizing them as true also when they were false, irrespective of the language in which they read them. Surprisingly, participants were unbiased when categorizing negative statements presented in their native language Welsh, but showed a reverse bias… Read More

Fácil or A piece of cake: Does variability in bilingual language brokering experience affect idiom comprehension?

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 340-354 Abstract “Compared to studies of the effects of formal training in translation, little is known about the psycholinguistic impact of the experience of informal translation, or language brokering. The present study examined this issue in the context of idiom comprehension. Bilingual adults differing in prior brokering experience read English idioms and judged whether target words presented in English or Spanish were related to the idiom’s meaning. For brokers, relatedness judgments were not affected by whether the targets were in the same or different language as the idiom; however, non-brokers were… Read More

The plasticity of lexical selection mechanism in word production: ERP evidence from short-term language switching training in unbalanced Chinese–English bilinguals

Published in: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Volume 21, Issue 2, 296-313 Abstract “The present study examined the plasticity of the lexical selection mechanism in bilingual word production by training a group of unbalanced Chinese–English bilinguals with a language switching task. The experimental group received an 8-day language switching training, while the control group received no training. Before and after training, the behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) data of both groups in a cued picture naming task were collected. ERP results revealed a training effect such that after training, the N2 peak latency in cue-locked ERPs was shortened only in the experimental… Read More