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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Craig Chambers

PSY315 LECTURE 8 Bilingualism - Most people are bilingual o Should be looked as the default  Instead look at monolinguals as the default case - The normal state o Characterizes many individuals - Sample questions o Does it confuse children? o What is the consequence? o Is there a benefit  Obvious benefit: capacity to communicate in other languages  But does it have a general type of benefit? Learning scenarios for bilingual children - Vary widely - Context is much more variable as oppose to learning a single language o Way child exposed to input could be very different o Result is that individuals within a certain group  Often end up with individuals who are a little bit heterogeneous  Some studies end up with groups of children that are somewhat diffuse in terms of their language abilities • Often difficult to make stable generalizations o Therefore, need a number of studies in order to nail a phenomenon  Because the groups are more heterogeneous in several parts “Early” bilingualism (“simultaneous”) - Learning two languages at the same time from a comparatively early age - Why may learning two languages be confusing? o Have idea that things could possibly be mixed up in the heads now o Different models of representation  Mental boxes that are stored separately [red and yellow box]  Non-distinct system, and pull out the right stuff when we need to speak/understand  Combine them, mutual influences across the two systems that might allow things to get mixed up nd • Notion that we have that things get mixed up probably comes from the 2 or 3rd • Categorized: 1 [separate red and yellow boxes] – don’t get mixed up Phonological System - Sound patterns associated with the specific language - Languages have language specific rules/combinations [phonotactics] - Languages differ in terms of their inventory - Specific way in which sounds are contrasted can differ across languages o Ex. French/English – “iy” and “I”  Length of the vowel/frequency (based on difference in tongue height)/glide • Way English makes them contrasted o Other languages where “ee” vs. “I” doesn’t exist or doesn’t involve same factors o Specific way in which sounds become contrasted can differ across languages  Partly but not exclusively the basis for foreign accent PSY315 LECTURE 8 • Phonetic implementation they are using for those sounds may differ o Give rise to the impression of a foreign accent o Voice onset time – difference has to do with that - As adults sensitive to these things o So we can notice foreign accents easily o Fledge  “Are you listening to a Native speaker of English or a French speaker speaking English” • Vice versa  If it’s just one word and French speaker who said it • Yes  Still above chance at 67%  30 milliseconds – same • Seems that sensitivity to details of phonetic implementation are pretty strong o Able to detect low levels of acoustic information and use this information to judge speaker’s productions o Phonetic implementation differs across different languages  Have to be tuned into the native language Back to bilingual acquisition - Children’s pronunciation of sounds in words seems to reflect specific implementation of the languages - Kind of late o Problem in getting good data:  Fact that children’s production abilities emerge later relative to perception  Don’t have a lot of data • Because this study relies on data from children’s production - Other evidence o Language child exposed to most often kind of carries over o When you see children zooming in on implementation on particular sounds is dominant to one language (the one they are exposed to the most)  Using most statistically common pattern that you are exposed to in your environment Words - Mixing observed within sentences o Talking, and then substitute a word in another language o Could take it as evidence for getting mixed up  Is it the right interpretation? • Could be that there’s not a particular word o Code Switching or code mixing  Adults mix when speaking to other bilinguals o Should not be taking the mixing of words in children as evidence Why code-switch? - Why do adults do this? o Sometimes used to signal status, signal intellectual familiarity with another language  Prestige/status associated with it o Could be more accessible – some words pop out o Gap in vocabulary – so fill it in PSY315 LECTURE 8 o Sometimes about a whole array of words that work better in another language o Helps emphasize a point o Processing phenomena at the individual level  Speaking in your second language, might get interference from dominant language or have to do with fluency (how fast you can come up with the words – dominant language faster to produce a word.. could’ve thought of another word but would’ve taken more time) o Accommodation to listener - All this happens unconsciously o Seamless unconscious activity - Fluid interaction o True on/off switch wouldn’t make sense o Both languages seem to be accessible, at least in the course of speaking  Can pop in to one language and then pop out of it o Suggests the notion of two fully distinct things doesn’t make sense Spoken word recognition - How we recognize words as they unfold in time o Normally understood as a competition process  Race happening in your brain as speech sounds unfold in a particular word • Who gets to be in the race depends on the initial sounds in the word o Ex. Shark  As this word unfolds in time, initially sound “sh,” any word that starts with ‘sh’ is activated (they get to be competitors), and as each successive sound unfolds, there are certain competitors that are going to be dropped out of the race  Not waiting till the end of the word, start from the beginning - Lots of words where we have enough information before the end of the word to know what it’s going to be o Can identify the word half way through o Characterizes the way spoken word recognition occurs in humans o Unconscious process - Slips of the ear o Another word that seemed more plausible given the context - Example of experiment o Objects on tabletop o Instruction: “Hey, pick up the candy”  Eye tracker + measure what they picked up • Eye tracker gives info of what happens as sound unfolds in time • “Candy” vs. “Candle” o Eye movements as speech sounds unfold, and average across trials/participants  As word begins to unfold “can” • 50/50 likelihood of people looking at either candy or candle because there isn’t enough information as to which word they’re going to say • Upon the “e,” that’s when people’s eyes settle upon the candy PSY315 LECTURE 8 • Gives information about the candidates that are being considered as speech sounds unfold Spivey & Marian - What are people’s eyes going to do as they hear the Russian word for stamp? - Native Russian speakers, adults - Results o 30% of trials  Unconsciously fixated the marker on the way looking at the stamp • Didn’t shut down completely • English was still humming away in the background  Irrelevant lexicon (in principle be turned off) • Is not completely suppressed when using another language • Infer that the adult state for proficient state for adult bilinguals may involve some mixing o Mirrors what is said in code switching o Inherently accessible to you; haven’t completely shut it down Rate of lexical development - In a given language o Doesn’t mean child knows fewer words overall, just fewer words in a particular language o Combined words is larger o Only when you look at a particular language  Monolingual English vocabulary higher than Bilingual English vocabulary at the same age period o Could just depend on experience Morphosyntactic system - Doesn’t mean they don’t grow out of them, just takes longer - Sometimes evidence of negative transfer from one negative to another o In Spanish, placement of adjective in the wrong spot o Followed the rules of English instead of Spanish o Taken some element of the mophosyntactic system in one language and applied it to another o A little bit of delay that comes with development o Look at textbook What about children with SLI? - If a child already has language difficulties, are these difficulties exacerbated by learning more than one language? - Paradis et al. o Verb morphology  Ex. Three year olds • Stage of development where tense morphology is missing • Ex. The truck goes in here/ The truck is going over there  SLI: even at 5 years • Often not using tense morphology • Characteristic pattern with children with SLI o Measure of production – language spoken by the children o Age-matched bilinguals/monolinguals o Characteristic pattern of delay  Regardless of whether the child was monolingual/bilingual PSY315 LECTURE 8  Delay in expressive use of tense morphology was the same  When began to us
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