[New publication] Bilingualism: Language and Cognition: volume 21, issue 1, 2018

BANK, R., CRASBORN, O., & VAN HOUT, R. (2018). Bimodal code-mixing: Dutch spoken language elements in NGT discourse. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 104-120. doi:10.1017/S1366728916000936
AbstractMouthings, the spoken language elements in sign language discourse, are typically analysed as having a redundant, one-on-one relationship with manual signs, both semantically and temporally. We explore exceptions to this presupposed semantic and temporal congruency in a corpus of spontaneous signed conversation by deaf users of Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). We identify specifying mouthings (words with a different meaning than the co-occurring sign), solo mouthings (uttered while the hands are inactive) and added mouthings (words added to a signing stream without their corresponding sign), and make a sentence-level analysis of their occurrences. These non-redundant mouthings occurred in 12% of all utterances, and were made by almost all signers. We argue for the presence of a code-blending continuum for NGT, where NGT is the matrix language and spoken Dutch is blended in, in various degrees. We suggest expansion of existing code-mixing models, to allow for description of bimodal mixing.
BRANZI, F., CALABRIA, M., GADE, M., FUENTES, L., & COSTA, A. (2018). On the bilingualism effect in task switching. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 195-208. doi:10.1017/S136672891600119X
AbstractIn one task-switching experiment, we compared bilinguals and monolinguals to explore the reliability of the bilingualism effect on the n-2 repetition cost. In a second task-switching experiment, we tested another group of bilinguals and monolinguals and measured both the n-1 shift cost and the n-2 repetition cost to test the hypothesis that bilingualism should confer a general greater efficiency of the executive control functioning. According to this hypothesis, we expected a reduced n-1 shift cost and an enhanced n-2 repetition cost for bilinguals compared to monolinguals. However, we did not observe such results. Our findings suggest that previous results cannot be replicated and that the n-2 repetition cost is another index that shows no reliable bilingualism effect. Finally, we observed a negative correlation between the two switch costs among bilinguals only. This finding may suggest that the two groups employ different strategies to cope with interference in task-switching paradigms.
CHUNG, E. (2018). Second and heritage language acquisition of Korean case drop. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition,21(1), 63-79. doi:10.1017/S1366728916001218
AbstractThe primary objective of this paper is to investigate how early and late bilinguals attain implicit knowledge of Korean case drop that necessitates integration of multiple levels of information. An oral picture description task and a written forced-choice elicitation task were developed to investigate how different populations employ the relevant factors in Korean case drop and if certain types of cues are more accessible than others. The results reveal qualitative differences in the underlying linguistic knowledge of early vs. late bilinguals with early bilinguals achieving a higher level of mastery than late bilinguals in both oral and written tasks. The results underline the importance of age, context, and mode of acquisition and suggest that bilingual difficulty in the present phenomenon mainly arises from learners heavily relying on cues that are readily available to them in their respective context of acquisition and failing to effectively coordinate multiple constraints.
COOK, S. (2018). Gender matters: From L1 grammar to L2 semantics. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 13-31. doi:10.1017/S1366728916000766
AbstractThe study investigates the effects of grammatical gender on bilingual processing. Native speakers of Russian (a gendered language) learning English and monolingual English controls performed a self-paced reading task in English (a non-gendered language). As predicted, bilingual speakers showed delayed latencies to gendered pronouns (he or she) that were incongruent with the noun’s grammatical gender in Russian, indicating that first language (L1) grammatical gender assignment can be interpreted as biological gender in nonnative (L2) processing. The L1 gender bias was only found in sentences containing animate, but not inanimate, nouns. These results speak against the syntactic mechanism being solely responsible for gender biases, but rather support a semantic transfer account due to coactivation of linguistic and conceptual features as proposed in the sex and gender hypothesis (SAGH, Vigliocco, Vinson, Paganelli & Dworzynski, 2005). Overall, the study provides clear evidence for the L1 grammatical gender bias in bilingual processing, albeit constrained by animacy.
FELDMAN, L., ARAGON, C., CHEN, N., & KROLL, J. (2018). Emoticons in informal text communication: A new window on bilingual alignment. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 209-218. doi:10.1017/S1366728917000359
AbstractThe study of emoticon use in text communication is in its early stages (Aragon, Feldman, Chen & Kroll, 2014), with even less known about how emoticons function in multilingual environments. We describe a preliminary longitudinal analysis of text communication in an online bilingual scientific work environment and demonstrate how patterns of emoticon use constitute a novel yet systematic nonverbal aspect of communication. Specifically, coordination over bilingual speakers entails reductions in emoticon diversity over time that are greater for those who communicate in their L2 than in their L1. An analogous but weaker pattern is evident for lexical diversity in L2 but not L1. We hypothesize that reductions in emoticon diversity in the L2 are likely to reflect social contributions to alignment rather than purely proficiency.
GARCÍA, P., & FROUD, K. (2018). Perception of American English vowels by sequential Spanish–English bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 80-103. doi:10.1017/S1366728916000808
AbstractResearch on American-English (AE) vowel perception by Spanish–English bilinguals has focused on the vowels /i/-/ɪ/ (e.g., in sheep/ship). Other AE vowel contrasts may present perceptual challenges for this population, especially those requiring both spectral and durational discrimination. We used Event-Related Potentials (ERPs), MMN (Mismatch Negativity) and P300, to index discrimination of AE vowels /ɑ/-/ʌ/ by sequential adult Spanish–English bilingual listeners compared to AE monolinguals. Listening tasks were non-attended and attended, and vowels were presented with natural and neutralized durations. Regardless of vowel duration, bilingual listeners showed no MMN to unattended sounds, and P300 responses were elicited to /ɑ/ but not /ʌ/ in the attended condition. Monolingual listeners showed pre-attentive discrimination (MMN) for /ɑ/ only; while both vowels elicited P300 responses when attended. Findings suggest that Spanish–English bilinguals recruit attentional and cognitive resources enabling native-like use of both spectral and durational cues to discriminate between AE vowels /ɑ/ and /ʌ/.
GROSS, M., & KAUSHANSKAYA, M. (2018). Contributions of nonlinguistic task-shifting to language control in bilingual children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 181-194. doi:10.1017/S1366728916001097
AbstractLanguage control, bilinguals’ ability to regulate which language is used, has been posited to recruit domain-general cognitive control. However, studies relating language control and cognitive control have yielded mixed results in adults and have not been undertaken in children. The current study examined the contributions of nonlinguistic task-shifting to language control in Spanish–English bilingual children (ages 5–7) during a cued-switch picture-naming task. Language control was assessed at two levels: (1) cross-language errors, which indexed the success of languageselection, and (2) naming speed, which indexed the efficiency of lexical selection. Nonlinguistic task-shifting was a robust predictor of children’s cross-language errors, reflecting a role for domain-general cognitive control during language selection. However, task-shifting predicted naming speed only in children’s non-dominant language, suggesting a more nuanced role for cognitive control in the efficiency of selecting a particular lexical target.
KOHLSTEDT, T., & MANI, N. (2018). The influence of increasing discourse context on L1 and L2 spoken language processing. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 121-136. doi:10.1017/S1366728916001139
AbstractUsing the visual world paradigm, we compared first, L1 and L2 speakers’ anticipation of upcoming information in a discourse and second, L1 and L2 speakers’ ability to infer the meaning of unknown words in a discourse based on the semantic cues provided in spoken language context. It was found that native speakers were able to use the given contextual cues, throughout the discourse, to anticipate upcoming linguistic input and fixate targets consistent with the input thus far, while L2 speakers showed weaker effects of discourse context on target fixations. However, both native speakers and L2 learners alike were able to use contextual information to infer the meaning of unknown words embedded in the discourse and fixate images associated with the inferred meanings of these words, especially given adequate contextual information. We suggest that these results reflect similarly successful integration of the preceding semantic information and the construction of integrated mental representations of the described scenarios in L1 and L2.
LEGACY, J., ZESIGER, P., FRIEND, M., & POULIN-DUBOIS, D. (2018). Vocabulary size and speed of word recognition in very young French–English bilinguals: A longitudinal study. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 137-149. doi:10.1017/S1366728916000833
AbstractA longitudinal study of lexical development in very young French–English bilinguals is reported. The Computerized Comprehension Test (CCT) was used to directly assess receptive vocabulary and processing efficiency, and parental report (CDI) was used to measure expressive vocabulary in monolingual and bilingual infants at 16 months, and six months later, at 22 months. All infants increased their comprehension and production of words over the six-month period, and bilingual infants acquired approximately as many new words in each of their languages as the monolinguals did. Speed of online word processing was also equivalent in both groups at each wave of data collection, and increased significantly across waves. Importantly, significant relations emerged between language exposure, vocabulary size, and processing speed, with proportion of language exposure predicting vocabulary size at each time point. This study extends previous findings by utilizing a direct measure of receptive vocabulary development and online word processing.
LÓPEZ, B., & VAID, J. (2018). Divergence and overlap in bilingual conceptual representation: Does prior language brokering experience matter? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 150-161. doi:10.1017/S1366728916001073
AbstractThe present research examined whether conceptual divergence is reduced in bilinguals with extensive informal translation experience. Across two experiments, Spanish–English bilinguals (brokers vs. non-brokers) generated exemplars for 10 categories, using the same or different language across sessions. Both groups demonstrated more divergence for different than same language responses across sessions a week apart. More convergence was found in both groups for no delay compared to delayed responses. Brokers showed significantly more convergence in exemplars than non-brokers; for both immediate and delayed sessions Findings indicate exemplars are differentially accessible depending on language and timing of response, but also individual differences in brokering experience. Extensive brokering experience may lead to a more integrated conceptual representation for features of concepts shared across languages. Findings support concept models that emphasize the dynamic and distributed nature of concepts, and underscore the need to consider the cognitive impact of systematic sources of variability among bilinguals.
PREHN, K., TAUD, B., REIFEGERSTE, J., CLAHSEN, H., & FLÖEL, A. (2018). Neural correlates of grammatical inflection in older native and second-language speakers. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 1-12. doi:10.1017/S1366728916001206
AbstractSpeaking a late-acquired second language (L2) involves increased cognitive demands, as has been shown mainly in young and middle-aged adults. To investigate grammatical inflection in older L2 speakers, we acquired behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging data, while L1 and L2 speakers performed a grammaticality judgment task. L2 speakers showed higher error rates than native speakers, specifically when incorrect forms had to be rejected. Poorer performance in L2 speakers was accompanied by increased activity in the medial superior frontal gyrus (SFG), indicating the additional recruitment of executive control mechanisms. In addition, post-hoc within-group comparisons of behavioral and neural correlates provide evidence for dual-mechanism models in older adults, suggesting that language processing involves both procedural and declarative memory systems. Moreover, we demonstrated that speaking an L2 requires more executive control and relies to a lesser extent on the procedural memory system than speaking one’s own native language.
SONG, Y., & DO, Y. (2018). Cross-linguistic structural priming in bilinguals: Priming of the subject-to-object raising construction between English and Korean. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 47-62. doi:10.1017/S1366728916001152
AbstractA cross-linguistic structural priming experiment explores the issue of whether parallel syntactic constructions of the two languages in bilinguals share a representation when the surface word orders of the constructions differ. The target population was early balanced bilinguals of Korean and English; the tested constructions were structures relevant to the subject-to-object raising (STOR) operation, which until this study have not been used for structural priming research in cross-linguistic contexts (e.g., STOR: Mary believes Jerry to be trustworthy; non-STOR: Mary believes that Jerry is trustworthy). These syntactic structures exist in both English and Korean, but with different surface word orders. The results show that cross-linguistic priming of the STOR construction occurred, suggesting that parallel syntactic constructions of the languages in bilinguals can share a representation independent of surface word order.
SUZUKI, Y., & SUNADA, M. (2018). Automatization in second language sentence processing: Relationship between elicited imitation and maze tasks. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 32-46. doi:10.1017/S1366728916000857
AbstractThe present study investigates the automatization of second language (L2) sentence processing. It compares the extent to which a mere speedup (faster execution) and restructuring (more stable execution) of sentence processing contribute to L2 oral performance. The maze task is used to measure the speed (reaction time, RT) and processing stability (coefficient of variance, CV) of sentence processing. The elicited imitation (EI) task measures L2 oral proficiency (repetition accuracy and accuracy in plural and third person s). These tasks were performed by 110 English-as-a-foreign-language learners with Japanese as their L1. The results show that only RT, not CV, significantly predicts L2 oral proficiency. Even though a subgroup of learners, who previously stayed in an English-speaking country, demonstrated some indications of automatization, RT was a better predictor of L2 oral proficiency than CV, irrespective of immersion experience. These findings suggest that CV has little practical value in predicting L2 oral proficiency.
ZHOU, B., & KROTT, A. (2018). Bilingualism enhances attentional control in non-verbal conflict tasks – evidence from ex-Gaussian analyses. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(1), 162-180. doi:10.1017/S1366728916000869
AbstractBilinguals have been found to possess cognitive advantages. But the nature of this advantage is unclear. While some evidence suggests that bilinguals have developed enhanced inhibitory control abilities, other evidence suggests that they possess enhanced attentional control abilities. In the current study, English monolingual and English–Chinese bilingual young adults were tested in three non-verbal conflict tasks (Flanker task, Spatial Stroop task and Simon task). Ex-Gaussian analyses were utilized to inspect response time distributions. The two participant groups showed comparable effects of stimulus-response congruency on the Gaussian part of response distributions (μ), but different effects on the distribution tails (τ), with reduced tails for bilingual speakers particularly in the more demanding incongruent condition. These results suggest that bilingual advantage emerges from better sustained attention and attentional monitoring rather than inhibition. We also discuss the usefulness of ex-Gaussian analyses.
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