Bilingualism: Language and Cognition

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1366-7289 / 1469-1841
Published by: Cambridge University Press (CUP) (10.1017)
Total articles ≅ 1,421
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Latest articles in this journal

, Mikkel B. Hansen, Jørgen T. Lauridsen, Søren W. Eskildsen, Katalin Fenyvesi, Signe Hannibal Jensen
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition pp 1-13;

This longitudinal study examined the influence of child-specific and environmental factors on the development of English receptive vocabulary and grammar by two groups of Danish children: Early Starters (ES) and Late Starters (LS). Age of onset, gender, language aptitude and SES significantly predicted both outcome measures. English competence beliefs (ECB) were positively related to L2 proficiency but only for children with low foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA), suggesting a dynamic relationship between ECB and FLCA. Extramural audiovisual viewing and reading played a differential role for ES vs. LS whereas extramural English speaking significantly interacted with gender. Finally, child-specific factors explained more of the variance in English proficiency than environmental factors. This finding, which contradicts results obtained in instructed settings (e.g., Sun, Steinkrauss, Tendeiro & de Bot, 2016) but parallels those in naturalistic settings (e.g., Paradis, 2011), supports the special status of English in countries with a high degree of informal contact with English.
Mariana Elias,
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition pp 1-18;

The study examined whether false-cognates, overlapping in form but not meaning across languages, are easier to learn due to form overlap, or more difficult to learn due to meaning competition, compared to unambiguous control and cognate words. Fifty-four native Hebrew speakers learned 14 cognates, 14 false-cognates, and 28 control Arabic words in one session. Cognates were learned better than control items. There was no overall difference in learning false-cognates relative to controls, but individuals with higher phonological short-term memory, or with lower L1 verbal fluency, did exhibit a false-cognate learning-advantage. For these individuals, form overlap was more influential than meaning competition. Lexical decisions to Hebrew words following Arabic learning were slower for false-cognates than controls, indicative of backward influences. The findings reveal the influence of prior knowledge on learning and processing, and highlight the importance of jointly considering item-based and learner-based characteristics during the initial stages of vocabulary learning.
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition pp 1-11;

This study investigated the unresolved issue of potential sources of heritage language attrition. To test contributing effects of three learner variables – age of second language acquisition, length of residence, and language input – on heritage children's lexical retrieval accuracy and speed, we conducted a real-time word naming task with 68 children (age 11–14 years) living in South Korea who spoke either Chinese or Russian as a heritage language. Results of regression analyses showed that the participants were less accurate and slower in naming target words in their heritage language as their length of residence in Korea and the amount of Korean input increased. The age of Korean acquisition did not significantly influence their performance. These findings support the claim that heritage speakers’ language experience is a more reliable predictor of first language attrition than age of acquisition. We discuss these findings in light of different approaches to explaining language attrition.
, Mathieu Declerck, Ryan J. Kemp, Vera Kempe
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition pp 1-10;

While research on bilingual language processing is sensitive to different usage contexts, monolinguals are still often treated as a homogeneous control group, despite frequently using multiple varieties that may require engagement of control mechanisms during lexical access. Adapting a language-switching task for speakers of (Scottish) Standard English and Orcadian Scots, we demonstrate switch cost asymmetries with longer naming latencies when switching back into Orcadian. This pattern, which is reminiscent of unbalanced bilinguals, suggests that Orcadian is the dominant variety of these participants – despite the fact they might be regarded as English monolinguals because of sociolinguistic factors. In conjunction with the observed mixing cost and cognate facilitation effect (indicative of proactive language control and parallel language activation, respectively), these findings show that ‘monolinguals’ need to be scrutinised for routine use of different varieties to gain a better understanding of whether and how mechanisms underlying their lexical access resemble those of bilinguals.
, Cassandra Neumann, Sandra Masoud, Adina Gazith
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition pp 1-14;

Research suggests that bilinguals often outperform monolinguals on tasks that tap into executive functions, such as those requiring conflict resolution and cognitive flexibility. Recently, better attentional control has been detected in infants as young as 6 months, thereby providing a possible basis for a cognitive benefit before language production. The goal of the present study was to examine if cognitive flexibility is more advanced in bilingual infants. A detour reaching task assessing conflict resolution, a delayed response task assessing shifting, and a multiple location task assessing maintaining, were administered to 17-month-old infants. The main findings revealed that being bilingual did not improve performance on any of the executive function tasks. Furthermore, current exposure to a second language or language proficiency did not impact executive functioning. We conclude that a bilingual advantage in cognitive flexibility may not be present before children have enough experience in code switching.
, Francesco Bossi, Paola Palladino
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition pp 1-13;

When participants process a list of semantically strongly related words, the ones that were not presented may later be said, falsely, to have been on the list. This ‘false memory effect’ has been investigated by means of the DRM paradigm. We applied an emotional version of it to assess the false memory effect for emotional words in bilingual children with a minority language as L1 (their mother tongue) and a monolingual control group. We found that the higher emotionality of the words enhances memory distortion for both the bilingual and the monolingual children, in spite of the disadvantage related to vocabulary skills and of the socioeconomic status that acts on semantic processing independently from the condition of bilingualism. We conclude that bilingual children develop their semantic knowledge separately from their vocabulary skills and parallel to their monolingual peers, with a comparable role played by Arousal and Valence.
Tal Norman, Orna Peleg
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition pp 1-11;

Substantial evidence indicates that first language (L1) comprehension involves embodied visual simulations. The present study tested the assumption that a formally learned second language (L2), which is less related to real-life experiences, is processed in a less embodied manner relative to a naturally acquired L1. To this end, bilingual participants completed the same task in their L1 and L2. In the task, they read sentences and decided immediately after each sentence whether a pictured object had been mentioned in the preceding sentence. Responses were significantly faster when the shape of the object in the picture matched rather than mismatched the sentence-implied shape, but only in the L1, and only when the L1 block was performed before the L2 block. These findings suggest that embodied visual simulations are reduced in a formally learned L2 and may be subjected to cross-language influences.
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