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Language and thought in bilinguals: the case of grammatical number and nonverbal classification preferences

Athanasopoulos, P. and Kasai, C. (2008) Language and thought in bilinguals: the case of grammatical number and nonverbal classification preferences. Applied Psycholinguistics, 29 (1). pp. 105-123. ISSN 0142-7164

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0142716408080053

Abstract/Summary

Recent research shows that speakers of languages with obligatory plural marking (English) preferentially categorize objects based on common shape, whereas speakers of nonplural-marking classifier languages (Yucatec and Japanese) preferentially categorize objects based on common material. The current study extends that investigation to the domain of bilingualism. Japanese and English monolinguals, and Japanese–English bilinguals were asked to match novel objects based on either common shape or color. Results showed that English monolinguals selected shape significantly more than Japanese monolinguals, whereas the bilinguals shifted their cognitive preferences as a function of their second language proficiency. The implications of these findings for conceptual representation and cognitive processing in bilinguals are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:33579
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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