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PSYCH 3UU3 (13)
Chapter 5

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Karin R Humphreys

3UU3 Textbook Chapter 5: Bilingualism and Second LanguageAcquisition Bilingual: speaking two languages • 3 types: o L2 is learned relative to L1 o L1 and L2 are learned simultaneously o L1 learned first but L2 learned early—early sequential (largest group worldwide*) o Late sequential–L2 learned in adolescence onwards Production bilinguals: easy to produce, hard to understand others Receptive bilinguals: easy to understand, hard to produce Language mixing: when words combine in different languages, such as an English suffix added to a German root, or English words put into a French syntactic structure—or responding to questions in one language with answers in another Code switching: the name given to the tendency of bilinguals when speaking to other bilinguals to switch from one language to another—often to more appropriate words or phrases Although no solid evidence has favoured bilingualism hurting comprehension of both languages —inferences have been made where “monolinguistic-like attainment in each of a bilingual’s two language is probably a myth” Proficiency in both languages: • Proficiency in L1 is extremely important—the development of L1 and L2 is interdependent • Children who have attained a high level of skill at L1 are likely to do the same with L2— particularly on relatively academic measures of language performance • Children suffer no linguistic disadvantages from learning two languages simultaneously o There may be some delay in learning vocab items of one language but this delay is soon made up • Bilingual children, compared with monolingusitic children, show an advantage in knowing that a word is an arbitrary name for something Separate-store models: separate lexicons for each language that are connected at the semantic level • Evidence comes from repetition priming: priming by repeating a stimulustaps into semantic processes Common-store models: one lexicon and one semantic memory system –words are from both languages and connected directly together • Semantic priming produces facilitation between languages • Equivalent words share an underlying semantic representation that can mediate priming between the two words • Most evidence favours common store N.B. Late learners show much less priming—acquisition is critical –late learners have separate lexicons mediated at the conceptual levels Cognates (words in different languages with the same meaning & look similar) and culturally similar words act as though stored in common whereas abstract words act as though in separate stores Grosjean and Soares argued that language is flexible in bilinguals and that behaviour depends on the circumstances In bilinguals—both languages are active and interact Bilinguals: • ERP study demonstrates that low-level information is used to block words in the non- target language at a very early stage, such that the meanings of these words do not become activated • Pattern of activation suggested that discrimination of the two languages occurs very early on Bilingual Syntactic Processing • Aparticular syntactic structure in one language could make it easier to use the same structure in the second language, supporting the “shared syntax” idea o Study of Spanish-English bilingual speakers • Production of german datives primed the subsequent use of English datives and vice versa (Loebell and Bock) Kroll and Stewart: argued that we translate words from our first language into the second language (forward translation) by conceptual mediation—meaning we must access the meaning of the word in order to translate it We translate from the second language into the first (called backward translation) by word association—we use direct links between items in the lexicon—the evidence for this asymmetry is that semantic factors have a profound effect on forward translation, but little or no effect on backward translation—in addition—backward translation is usually faster than forward translation • Reason is because semantic factors have a profound effect on forward translation, but little or no effect on backward translation • Backward translation is usually faster than forward translation o Evidence from degroot, Dannenberg, and van hell (1994) suggests that semantic variables like imageability affect translation times in backward translation, but to a lesser extent o Other studies showed that congruent images facilitated backward translation but incongruent ones did not o THEREFORE—semantics is probably involved in both backward and forward translation o FINDING: only words of a target language are ever considered for outp
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