2 Bilinguals & Polyglots Many people speak more than one languageTucker (1999) - multilinguals outnumber monolingualsWhat is the impact of knowing/using more than one language?Factors affecting second language acquisitionWhat does the bilingual lexicon look like?Interesting effects in bilingualsInterferenceCode switchingCognitive advantages
3 Second language learning Learning a new languageWhat if we already know one language, but want to learn another?Johnson and Newport (1989)Native Chinese/Korean speakers moving to USTask: Listen to sentences and judge whether grammatically correctConcluded that around the age of 16 something happensDifferent factors operate on language acquisition before and after the age of 16
4 Second language learning Learning a new languageWhat 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 timeVocabulary growth of bilinguals is similar to that of monolingualsSome aspects of acquisition may be slowed, but by age of 4 typically caught upDoesn’t seem to matter whether languages are “related” or not (e.g., English - French versus English Japanese)Can achieve “fluency” in both languagesSequential acquisitionThe second language is learned after a first languageWhen the second language (L2) is acquired is importantEarly versus late learning (e.g., see the Johnson and Newport study)
6 Important factors Mode of acquisition Native bilingualism - growing up in a two language environmentImmersion - schooling provided in a non-native languageSubmersion - one learner surrounded by non-native speakers (e.g., English speaker moving to another country)Frequency of usage of both languagesHow often and in what contexts do you use the two languages“Use it or lose it” - language attritionLanguage dominance effectsRelative fluency of L1 and L2 may impact processing
7 Main Theoretical Questions How do we represent linguistic information in a bilingual lexicon?How do we process (comprehend and produce) language when we know more than one?
8 Models of the bilingual lexicons Potter et al (1984): Separate Stores Models – separate lexicons for each language – could be constructed 2 waysL1L2CONCEPTSWord Association ModelL1L2CONCEPTSConcept Mediation ModelEvidence 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 studiesIn L1 picture naming slower than word naming. In L2 pictures named about the same time as L1 translated into L2hundhunddogdogGermanGermanEnglishEnglish
9 Models of the bilingual lexicons Paivio, Clark, & Lambert (1988): Common Stores Models – words from both languages in same storeL1 & L2CONCEPTSEvidence:“hund” does prime “dog”And“dog” primes “hund”hundEnglish &dogGerman
10 Models of the bilingual lexicons The results are mixed, supporting more complex modelsL1L2conceptslexicallinksconceptualRevised Hierachical Model(Kroll & Stewart, 1994)Proposed that the fluency of L2 needs to be considered in the processing modelEvidence: translation tasksL1 -> L2: looks like conceptual mediationL2 -> L1: looks like word associationdoghund
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 acquisitionrelative proficiencyMay 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 InterferenceCode switchingCognitive advantagesTypes of sentences usedPast tensePluralThird person singularPresent progressiveDeterminersPronominalizationParticle movementSubcategorizationAuxillariesYes/no questionsWh-questionsWord order
13 Interference between languages A native speaker can use many cues (available at different times while processing):Word orderAnimacyNoun-Verb agreementNot all languages use the same cues to the same extente.g., relative to English, German doesn’t rely as much on word order, but relies more on morphological agreement processesGerman speakers use all three, in both German and EnglishMonolingual EnglishKilborn (1989, 1994)Sentence 1: waitress doing the pushing (even though the semantics/real world knowledge is strange). Both word order and agreement support this view.Sentence 2: very strange, position favors telephone, but verb and animacy suggest cowboysSentence 3: English word order suggests object follows the verbSentence 4: animacy and agreement suggest teacher as actorFound 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 languageAs 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.
14 Interference between languages Does knowing two languages lead to interference?When found, interference is at multiple levelsFor simultaneous learnersPhonological - least amount of interferenceLexical - mixing words from different languagesInitially, appear to use a one word per thing strategyBut as they realize there that they’re speaking two language, then they’ll use words from both languages simultaneouslySyntacticUntil year two, may use only one syntactic system which is common to both languagesThen a brief period with two sets of lexical items, but still a common syntaxFinally, two lexicons and two sets of syntaxTypes of sentences usedPast tensePluralThird person singularPresent progressiveDeterminersPronominalizationParticle movementSubcategorizationAuxillariesYes/no questionsWh-questionsWord order
15 “I want a motorcycle VERDE” Code switchingWhen 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 occurSocial 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 Code switchingWhen bilinguals substitute a word or phrase from one language with a phrase or word from another language“I want a motorcycle VERDE”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 incorrectbecause language switching can occur only if the adjective is placed according to the rules of the language of the adjectiveIn 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 “I want a motorcycle VERDE” Code switchingWhen bilinguals substitute a word or phrase from one language with a phrase or word from another language“I want a motorcycle VERDE”Generally, bilinguals take longer to read and comprehend sentences containing code-switched wordsMay 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 “I want a motorcycle VERDE” Code switchingWhen bilinguals substitute a word or phrase from one language with a phrase or word from another language“I want a motorcycle VERDE”Generally, bilinguals take longer to read and comprehend sentences containing code-switched wordsThis time difference depends on similarity of the languagesChinese-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-switchingHeredia & Altarriba (2001) is a good review
19 Cognitive advantagesSome evidence suggest that being bilingual can have an impact on cognition outside of languageBialystok and colleaguesBilinguals are very proficient at switching between languagesBilinguals also have to be good at suppressing the contextually inappropriate languageBilingual advantage has been found in several non-linguistic tasks that may involve task switching and inhibition processesE.g., Stroop task, flanker task, card sort task, Simon task