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PSY 369: Psycholinguistics Bilingualism. Bilinguals & Polyglots Many people speak more than one language Tucker (1999) - multilinguals outnumber monolinguals.

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Presentation on theme: "PSY 369: Psycholinguistics Bilingualism. Bilinguals & Polyglots Many people speak more than one language Tucker (1999) - multilinguals outnumber monolinguals."— Presentation transcript:

1 PSY 369: Psycholinguistics Bilingualism

2 Bilinguals & Polyglots Many people speak more than one language Tucker (1999) - multilinguals outnumber monolinguals Tucker (1999) What is the impact of knowing/using more than one language? Factors affecting second language acquisition What does the bilingual lexicon look like? Interesting effects in bilinguals Interference Code switching Cognitive advantages

3 Second language learning Learning a new language What if we already know one language, but want to learn another? Johnson and Newport (1989) Native Chinese/Korean speakers moving to US Task: Listen to sentences and judge whether grammatically correct Concluded that around the age of 16 something happens Different factors operate on language acquisition before and after the age of 16

4 Second language learning Learning a new language What if we already know one language, but want to learn another? Adults learning another language typically have a persistent foreign accent – perhaps a critical period for phonology (Flege & Hillenbrand, 1984) Adults typically do better initially at learning a new language compared to kids, but kids typically do better over the long term (Krashen, Long, & Scarcella, 1982)

5 Important factors Contexts of childhood bilingualism Simultaneous Both languages are acquired at the same time Vocabulary growth of bilinguals is similar to that of monolinguals Some aspects of acquisition may be slowed, but by age of 4 typically caught up Doesn’t seem to matter whether languages are “related” or not (e.g., English - French versus English Japanese) Can achieve “fluency” in both languages Sequential acquisition The second language is learned after a first language When the second language (L2) is acquired is important Early versus late learning (e.g., see the Johnson and Newport study)

6 Mode of acquisition Native bilingualism - growing up in a two language environment Immersion - schooling provided in a non-native language Submersion - one learner surrounded by non-native speakers (e.g., English speaker moving to another country) Frequency of usage of both languages How often and in what contexts do you use the two languages “Use it or lose it” - language attrition Language dominance effects Relative fluency of L1 and L2 may impact processing Important factors

7 How do we represent linguistic information in a bilingual lexicon? How do we process (comprehend and produce) language when we know more than one? Main Theoretical Questions

8 Models of the bilingual lexicons Potter et al (1984): Separate Stores Models – separate lexicons for each language – could be constructed 2 ways L1L2 CONCEPTS Word Association Model L1L2 CONCEPTS Concept Mediation Model hund dog hund dog English German English German Evidence for separate storage: “dog” primes “dog” better than “hund” primes “dog” Evidence most consistent with Concept mediation model: mostly from picture and word naming, and translation studies In L1 picture naming slower than word naming. In L2 pictures named about the same time as L1 translated into L2

9 Models of the bilingual lexicons Paivio, Clark, & Lambert (1988): Common Stores Models – words from both languages in same store L1 & L2 CONCEPTS hund dog English & German Evidence: “hund” does prime “dog” And “dog” primes “hund”

10 Models of the bilingual lexicons L1 L2 concepts lexical links conceptual links conceptual links Revised Hierachical Model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994) Proposed that the fluency of L2 needs to be considered in the processing model Evidence: translation tasks The results are mixed, supporting more complex models hund dog L1 -> L2: looks like conceptual mediation L2 -> L1: looks like word association

11 Models of the bilingual lexicons The results are mixed, supporting more complex models (e.g., BIA+, Dijkstra & vanHeuven, 2002) May be different in different bilinguals depending on things: age of acquisition relative proficiency May be different for different tasks: Translation (production) Word recognition (comprehension) For those interested in recent discussion check out: Kroll, vanHell, Tokowicz, and Green (2010)

12 Interesting effects in bilinguals Interference Code switching Cognitive advantages

13 Interference between languages As you read or listen, determine who or what is the one performing the action. The waitress pushes the cowboys. The telephones pushes the cowboys. Kisses the table the apple. The baskets the teacher kicks. A native speaker can use many cues (available at different times while processing): Word order Animacy Noun-Verb agreement Not all languages use the same cues to the same extent e.g., relative to English, German doesn’t rely as much on word order, but relies more on morphological agreement processes Found that German- English bilinguals (English as L2) typically carry over the dominant processing strategies from their native languages. This interacts with their level of fluency in the second language Monolingual English German speakers use all three, in both German and English Kilborn (1989, 1994)

14 Does knowing two languages lead to interference? When found, interference is at multiple levels For simultaneous learners Phonological - least amount of interference Lexical - mixing words from different languages Initially, appear to use a one word per thing strategy But as they realize there that they’re speaking two language, then they’ll use words from both languages simultaneously Syntactic Until year two, may use only one syntactic system which is common to both languages Then a brief period with two sets of lexical items, but still a common syntax Finally, two lexicons and two sets of syntax Interference between languages

15 Code switching When bilinguals substitute a word or phrase from one language with a phrase or word from another language “I want a motorcycle VERDE” Switching is systematic, not random – there are certain important structures where code-switches do / do not occur Social reasons: participants in conversation, purpose, context etc. Also syntactic reasons. And not just ‘forgetting’ a word: code-switching is an active choice to achieve a social or linguistic aim through conversational strategy. (Active, though does not mean ‘conscious’)

16 When bilinguals substitute a word or phrase from one language with a phrase or word from another language “I want a motorcycle VERDE” Code switching The Spanish adjective “verde” follows a grammatical rule that is observed by most bilingual speakers that code-switch “I want a VERDE motorcycle” Would be incorrect because language switching can occur only if the adjective is placed according to the rules of the language of the adjective In this case, the adjective is in Spanish; therefore, the adjective must follow the Spanish grammatical rule that states that the noun must precede the adjective (in English adjectives precede the noun)

17 When bilinguals substitute a word or phrase from one language with a phrase or word from another language “I want a motorcycle VERDE” Code switching Generally, bilinguals take longer to read and comprehend sentences containing code-switched words May be due to a “mental switch mechanism” that determines which of the bilingual’s two mental dictionaries are “on” or “off” during language comprehension. This mental switch is responsible for selecting the appropriate mental dictionary to be employed during the comprehension of a sentence. E.g., if reading an English, a Spanish code-switched word is encountered, the mental switch must disable the English linguistic system, and enable the Spanish linguistic system.

18 When bilinguals substitute a word or phrase from one language with a phrase or word from another language “I want a motorcycle VERDE” Code switching Generally, bilinguals take longer to read and comprehend sentences containing code-switched words This time difference depends on similarity of the languages Chinese-English bilinguals take longer to recognize English code- switched words in Chinese sentences only if the English words contain initial consonant-consonant (e.g., flight) clusters, simply because the Chinese language lacks this phonotactic structure. Another current view suggests that language dominance (i.e., which language is used more frequently) plays an important role in code-switching Heredia & Altarriba (2001) is a good review

19 Some evidence suggest that being bilingual can have an impact on cognition outside of language Bialystok and colleagues Bilinguals are very proficient at switching between languages Bilinguals also have to be good at suppressing the contextually inappropriate language Bilingual advantage has been found in several non-linguistic tasks that may involve task switching and inhibition processes E.g., Stroop task, flanker task, card sort task, Simon task Cognitive advantages


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