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Interaction between grammatical categories and cognition in bilinguals: The role of proficiency, cultural immersion, and language of instruction

Athanasopoulos, P. (2007) Interaction between grammatical categories and cognition in bilinguals: The role of proficiency, cultural immersion, and language of instruction. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22 (5). pp. 689-699. ISSN 0169-0965

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01690960601049347

Abstract/Summary

Previous studies have demonstrated that there is a tight link between grammatical concepts and cognitive preferences in monolingual speakers (Lucy 1992, Lucy & Gaskins 2003, Imai & Gentner 1997, Imai & Mazuka 2003). Recent research has also shown that bilinguals with languages that differ in their concepts may shift their cognitive preferences as a function of their proficiency (Athanasopoulos, 2006) or cultural immersion (Cook, Bassetti, Kasai, Sasaki, & Takahashi, 2006). The current short paper assesses the relative impact of each of these variables, and furthermore asks whether bilinguals alternate between two distinct cognitive representations of language-specific concepts depending on the language used in the experiment. Results from an object classification task showed that Japanese–English bilinguals shifted their behaviour towards the second language (L2) pattern primarily as a function of their L2 proficiency, while cultural immersion and language of instruction played a minimal role. These findings suggest that acquisition of novel grammatical categories leads to cognitive restructuring in the bilingual mind and have implications for the relationship between language and cognitive processing.

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:33614
Publisher:Tayor & Francis

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