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Introduction

The system can't perform the operation now. The following articles are merged in Scholar. Their combined citations are counted only for the first article. This "Cited by" count includes citations to the following articles in Scholar. New articles by this author. New citations to this author. New articles related to this author's research. Email address for updates. My profile My library Metrics Alerts. Mirjam Broersma Radboud University Verified email at mirjambroersma. Successive bilingualism Wang, , Additive vs. Subtractive bilingualism Cummins, , and Elite vs.

Folk bilingualism Skutnabb-Kangas, , will be detailed later in this chapter. Each case of bilingualism is a product of different sets of circumstances and, as a result, no two bilinguals are the same. In other words, differences in the context of second language acquisition natural, as in the case of children and proficiency in spoken, written, reading, and listening skills in the second language, together with the consideration of culture, add further complexity to defining individual bilingualism.

The profile of this author further highlights the problems and challenges of defining and describing a bilingual or multilingual person. The author, as an immigrant child growing up in India, acquired two languages by birth: Saraiki—also called Multani and Lahanda, spoken primarily in Pakistan—and Punjabi, which is spoken both in India and Pakistan.

Growing up in the Hindi-speaking area, he learned the third language Hindi-Urdu primarily in schools; and his fourth language, English, primarily after puberty during his higher education in India and the United States. He cannot write or read in Saraiki but can read Punjabi in Gurmukhi script, and he cannot write with the same proficiency.

He has native proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Interestingly, his self-assessment finds him linguistically least secured in his two languages, which he acquired at birth. Is he a semilingual without a mother tongue? Most important, multiple languages serve as a vehicle to mark multiple identities e. While social bilingualism embodies linguistic dimensions of individual bilingualism, a host of social, attitudinal, educational, and historical aspects of bilingualism primarily determine the nature of social bilingualism. For instance, in some societies, bilingualism is valued and receives positive evaluation and is, thus, encouraged while in other societies bilingualism is seen as a negative and divisive force and is, thus, suppressed or even banned in public and educational arenas.

Conversely, Bengali or Punjabi immigrants living in Delhi, generation after generation, do not become monolinguals in Hindi, the dominant language of Delhi. Similarly, elite bilingualism vs. As aristocratic society patronized bilingualism with French or Latin in Europe, bilingualism served as a source of elitism in South Asia in different ages of Persian and English. Folk bilingualism is often the byproduct of social dominance and imposition of a dominant group.

While elite bilingualism is viewed as an asset, folk bilingualism is seen as problematic both in social and educational arenas Skutnabb-Kangas, One of the outcomes of a stable elite and folk bilingualism is diglossia e. Diasporic language varieties have been examined by Clyne and Kipp and Bhatia Political bilingualism refers to the language policies of a country. Canada, for instance, is officially recognized as a bilingual country. This means that Canada promotes bilingualism as a language policy of the country as well as in Canadian society as a whole.

By no means does it imply that most speakers in Canada are bilinguals. In fact, monolingual countries may reflect a high degree of bilingualism.

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In addition to learning Hindi and English, the co-national languages, school children can learn a third language spoken within or outside their state. Unlike monolinguals, a decision to speak multiple languages requires a complex unconscious process on the part of bilinguals. However, the degree and the scale of language choice are much more complicated for bilinguals since they need to choose not only between different styles but also between different languages. Now let us examine some determinants of language choice by bilinguals.

He shares two languages with his sisters-in-law Punjabi and Hindi and four languages with his brothers Saraiki, Punjabi, Hindi, and English. While talking about family matters or other informal topics, he uses Punjabi with his sisters-in-law but Saraiki with his brothers. If the topic involves ethnicity, then the entire family switches to Punjabi.

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Matters of educational and political importance are expressed in English and Hindi, respectively. These are unmarked language choices, which the author makes unconsciously and effortlessly with constant language switching depending on participants, speech events, situations, or other factors. Such a behavior is largely in agreement with the sociolinguistic Model of Markedness, which attempts to explain the sociolinguistic motivation of code-switching by considering language choice as a means of communicating desired group membership, or perceived group memberships, and interpersonal relationships Pavlenko, Speaking Sariki with brothers and Punjabi with sister-in-laws represent unconscious and unmarked choices.

Any shift to a marked choice is, of course, possible on theoretical grounds; however, it can take a serious toll in terms of social relationships. The use of Hindi or English during a general family dinner conversation i. Languages choice is not as simple as it seems at first from the above example of family conversation. In some cases, it involves a complex process of negotiation.

Talking with a Punjabi-Hindi-English trilingual waiter in an Indian restaurant, the choice of ethnic language, Punjabi, by a customer such as this author may seem to be a natural choice at first. Often, it is not the case if the waiter refuses to match the language choice of the customer and replies in English. The failure to negotiate a language in such cases takes an interesting turn of language mismatching before a common language of verbal exchange is finally agreed upon; often, it turns out to be a neutral and prestige language: See Ritchie and Bhatia for further details.

When the unmarked choice is not clear, speakers tend to use code-switching in an exploratory way to determine language choice and thus restore a social balance. During a speech event, language choice is not always static either. If the topic of conversation shifts from a casual topic to a formal topic such as education, a more suitable choice in this domain would be English; subsequently, a naturally switch to English will take place.

Particularly, bilingual parents use their first language for terms of endearment for their children. Their first language serves as the best vehicle for denoting emotions toward their children than any other language in their verbal repertoire. Taboo topics, on the other hand, favor the second or a distant language. Any attempt to characterize the bilingual mind must account for the following three natural aspects of bilingual verbal behavior: If bilinguals are placed in a predominantly monolingual setting, they are likely to activate only one language; while in a bilingual environment, they can easily shift into a bilingual mode to a differential degree.

The activation or deactivation process is not time consuming. In a bilingual environment, this process usually does not require bilinguals to take more than a couple of milliseconds to swing into a bilingual language mode and revert back to a monolingual mode with the same time efficiency.

However, under unexpected circumstances e. In the longitudinal study of his daughter, Hildegard, reported that Hildegard, while in Germany, came to tears at one point when she could not activate her mother tongue, English Leopard, — An in-depth review of processing cost involved in the language activation-deactivation process can be found in Meuter Do bilinguals turn on their bilingual mode, even if only one language is needed to perform a task?

For more recent works on parallel language activation and language competition in speech planning and speech production, see Blumenfeld and Marian Language mixing is a far more complex cognitive ability than language separation. Yet, it is also very natural to bilinguals. Therefore, it is not surprising to observe the emergence of mixed systems such as Hinglish, Spanglish, Germlish, and so on, around the globe. Consider the following utterances:. Such a two-faceted phenomenon is termed as code-mixing as in 1 and 2 and code-switching as in 3.

Code-mixing CM refers to the use of various linguistic units—words, phrases, clauses, and sentences—primarily from two participating grammatical systems within a sentence. While CM is intra-sentential, code-switching CS is an inter-sentential phenomenon. CM is constrained by grammatical principles and is motivated by socio-psychological factors. CS, on the other hand, is subject to discourse principles and is also motivated by socio-psychological factors. Any unified treatment of the bilingual mind has to account for the language separation i. In that process, it needs to address the following four key questions, which are central to an understanding the universal and scientific basis for the linguistic creativity of bilinguals.

Bi-/ multilingualism and language learning (LIN)

What motivates bilinguals to mix and alternate two languages? What is the social evaluation of this mixing and alternation?

Memory, language, and bilingualism : theoretical and applied approaches

What is the difference between code-mixing or code-switching and other related phenomena? Earlier research from the s—s concluded that CM is either a random or an unsystematic phenomenon. Studies of formal factors in the occurrence of CM attempt to tap the unconscious knowledge of bilinguals about the internal structure of code-mixed sentences. Recently, the search for explanations of cross-linguistic generalizations about the phenomenon of CM, specifically in terms of independently justified principles of language structure and use, has taken two distinct forms.

Their work lends partial support to the two approaches. The challenge for linguistic research in the new millennium is to separate grammatical constraints from those motivated by, or triggered by, socio-pragmatic factors or competence. See Ritchie and Bhatia and Myers-Scotton for further details. The most commonly accepted rule is that language mixing signals either a change or a perceived change by speaker in the socio-psychological context of a speech event. Now let us return to Question III. Surprisingly, though, the social evaluation of a mixed system is largely negative.

Even more interestingly, bilinguals themselves do not have a positive view of language mixing. They are often characterized as individuals who have difficulty expressing themselves. Furthermore, the guardians of language often accused them of destroying their linguistic heritage. For these reasons, it is not surprising that even bilinguals themselves become apologetic about their verbal behavior. In spite of this, they cannot resist language mixing! Table 1 illustrates the anomaly between the scientific reality of language mixing and its social perception.

Social perception translates into the negative evaluation of mixed speech. Backlash to mixing is not just restricted to societies and bilinguals; even governments get on the bandwagon. Asia is not an exception in this regard. A case in point is a recent article by Tan reporting that the Government of Singapore has banned the movie Talk Cock because it uses a mixed variety of English, called Singlish.

Linguistic prescriptivism clearly played a central role in the decision. Furthermore, with borrowing, the structure of the host language remains undisturbed. Additionally, Deuchar and Stammers claim that code-switches and borrowings are distinct on the basis of frequency and degree of integration. Specifically, only the former are low in both frequency and integration.

As pointed out earlier, describing and defining bilingualism is a formidable task. This is due to the fact that attaining bilingualism is a lifelong process; a complex array of conditions gives rise to the development of language among bilinguals. This is done to maintain minority language.

Therefore, De Houwer rightly points out that it is important for children to be receiving language input in the minority language from both parents at home. This also represents a common practice in non-Western societies in Asia e. While raising bilingual children does not pose any serious challenge for majority children e. This practice, no matter how well intended, often results in negative school performance and emotional problems for minority children.

Broadly speaking, childhood bilingualism can manifest itself in two distinct patterns: A child being exposed to two languages to more or less to the same degree from birth onward is described as a simultaneous bilingual; conversely, a child being exposed to one language first followed by a second language, with the latter coming after the age of five, is referred to as sequential bilingual. Surely, sequential bilingualism can persist throughout the adulthood. How is early bilingualism different from late bilingualism? During L2 learning they initially access the meanings for L2 words through L1 and only later become able to conceptually mediate L2 directly.

The shift from reliance on L1 to direct conceptual processing of L2 may result in creating an asymmetry in lexical access see Kroll and de Groot, , for detailed discussion. The late bilinguals would have more lexical-conceptual connections from L1 than from L2, and the strength of these links would be different for first and second languages. Due to lexical access asymmetry, more conceptual features can be accessed through L1 than through L2. Since the vast majority of the conceptual system in late bilinguals was established during L1 acquisition, and since L2 lexical features were mapped to the conceptual features through the L1 lexical-conceptual route, there might be fewer shared conceptual features that have direct links from both lexicons in the memory of individuals who acquired L2 later in life.

Indeed, the studies show that bilinguals who acquired L2 earlier in life outperformed their counterparts who acquired L2 later on various divergent thinking measures. A group of Armenian—Russian bilinguals who learned both languages simultaneously scored higher on flexibility and originality than their counterparts who started to learn one of the two languages 2—4 years later Kostandyan and Ledovaya, There is also evidence that Russian—English bilinguals who acquired L2 at a younger age scored higher on fluency and flexibility Kharkhurin, Similarly, bilinguals who acquired their L2 by the age of six tended to solve insight problems more readily than their counterparts who acquired L2 after this age Cushen and Wiley, The finding of a positive correlation between the proficiency in L2 and the TLP effect suggests that this factor may have an impact on the functioning of bilingual memory.

This assumption is supported by a significantly higher TLP performance by bilingual participants who were highly proficient in English in comparison with their counterparts who were moderately proficient in this language. The studies support this idea by showing that bilinguals with high proficiency in both languages outperform their less proficient counterparts on divergent thinking measures. Bilinguals highly proficient in both English and Russian performed better on elaboration than their less proficient peers Kharkhurin, Similarly, Farsi—English bilinguals highly proficient in both languages outperformed their unbalanced and moderately proficient peers on fluency Kharkhurin, Lee and Kim found that more balanced Korean—English bilinguals obtained higher creativity scores than their less balanced counterparts.

Kharkhurin compared bilinguals with different levels of proficiency in English. The study demonstrated that bilinguals with greater linguistic skills in English tended to score higher on originality and revealed more unstructured imagination cf. All these findings fit with the threshold hypothesis Cummins, postulating that bilinguals need to achieve a minimum age-appropriate proficiency threshold in both of their languages to reveal cognitive advantages.

Altogether, both the age of language acquisition and language proficiency seem to have an impact on the structure and functioning of bilingual memory. The age of L2 acquisition may stipulate the directions of lexical-conceptual routes. The proficiency in L1 and L2 may stipulate the strength of the connections between the conceptual and lexical systems. As a result, more conceptual representations become readily available for the LMCA, which in turn may promote cognitive flexibility. The TLP test involves a complex procedure, which is based on several theoretical assumptions.

Therefore, it is important to discuss the construct validity of this test. It was hypothesized that if a special structure of bilingual memory encourages the LMCA, bilinguals should demonstrate greater TLP effect than their monolingual peers. However, no effect was found either in bilingual or in monolingual group, and no group difference was found either.

Indeed, bilinguals with higher level of English proficiency demonstrated relatively greater TLP effect than did their peers with moderate proficiency in English, but there was no significant difference in their reaction to CR and CU pairs; that is, even the highly proficient bilinguals demonstrated no TLP effect. At the same time, faster responses to CR pairs and slower responses on CU pairs predicted cognitive flexibility in bilingual, but not in monolingual group. A possible explanation of this discrepancy refers to the language organization in the memory of bilingual individuals in the present sample.

Therefore, the TLP effect may occur only when connections between lexical and conceptual systems in both languages are strong and efficient. At the same time, participants in our sample were sequential 3 bilinguals who acquired English primarily in a classroom setting i. Pavlenko, , and were less proficient in English than in Russian. According to the discussion in the previous subsection, both the age of acquisition and language proficiency may influence the connections between lexical and conceptual representations in bilingual memory. Therefore, bilinguals in the present sample could have asymmetrical lexical access, which interrupted the activation flow between lexical and conceptual systems.

To test this hypothesis, the TLP procedure needs to be tested with a sample of simultaneous bilinguals or at least those who acquired their L2 in environment where they used this language in everyday life. This study was the first attempt of an empirical investigation of the LMCA in bilingual memory as a cognitive mechanism facilitating divergent thinking. The findings propose that due to the lemma mediated concept activation unrelated conceptual categories can be simultaneously engaged in creative problem solving, which eventually may promote cognitive flexibility.

Memory, Language, and Bilingualism : Theoretical and Applied Approaches

Two factors in cross-linguistic experience age of language acquisition and language proficiency could have an impact on the connections between lexical and conceptual representations in bilingual memory. The study also introduced a procedure that tested the TLP effect in bilingual memory. However, the study questioned construct validity of the TLP paradigm and recommended additional testing. The findings of the present study lay another brick into multilingual creative cognition paradigm Kharkhurin, c.

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Strengthening of certain cognitive functions may have impact on creativity fostering traits such as cognitive flexibility, tolerance for ambiguity, open-mindedness, and intrinsic motivation see Kharkhurin, b , for a discussion. Hence, multilingual practice may facilitate creative potential. This conclusion can have important ramifications in a context of a widely discussed topic in both multilingualism and creativity research that comes from pedagogical considerations. They are educated in either creativity or language related disciplines.

Similarly, the benefits of merging programs fostering creative potential and bilingual abilities seem to escape the attention of the educators. The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. I thank Maria Isaeva and students of the Cherepovets State University for assistance in data collection and coding. He proposed an alternative four-criterion construct of creativity, which in addition to novelty and utility considers two other characteristics typical for Eastern perception of creativity: The simultaneous bilinguals learn both of their languages from the onset of language acquisition.


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The sequential bilinguals learn their L2 after age of 5, when the basic components of L1 are already in place. The sequential bilinguals are further divided into early and late ones, reflecting the age at which L2 acquisition occurred Genesee, National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Front Psychol v. Published online Jun Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article was submitted to Cognition, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Received Mar 19; Accepted Jun 9. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.

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  • Language Mediated Concept Activation in Bilingual Memory Facilitates Cognitive Flexibility.
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  • Abstract This is the first attempt of empirical investigation of language mediated concept activation LMCA in bilingual memory as a cognitive mechanism facilitating divergent thinking. Introduction The theme of bilingual and multilingual creative cognition receives growing attention in scientific research Kharkhurin, c. Divergent Thinking Psychometric tradition perceives creative thinking as an ability to start multiple cycles of divergent and convergent thinking Guilford, How the Structure of Bilingual Memory Facilitates Divergent Thinking There is empirical evidence that bilinguals outperform their monolingual counterparts on divergent thinking tests review in Ricciardelli, b ; Kharkhurin, a.

    Open in a separate window. Present Study The algorithms proposed for lemma and lexical features mediated concept activation are rather speculative and require empirical investigation. Procedure The experiment comprises of four sessions. Kharkhurin and Altarriba described this test as following: Kharkhurin and Altarriba described it as following: Kharkhurin a described the test as following: Translingual Priming Test This test employs priming paradigm Meyer and Schvaneveldt, with lexical decision task.

    Stimulus Length Frequency CR prime 5. TLP Effect Is Modulated by L2 Proficiency In line with the forth hypothesis and considering that English was the language that was supposed to mediate the relatedness of the CR stimuli, high proficiency in this language was expected for the TLP effect to occur. Factors in Bilingual Development Influencing the LMCA The activation flow in bilingual memory can be boosted by stronger connections between conceptual and lexical systems.

    Age of L2 Acquisition A negative correlation between the age of L2 acquisition and the TLP effect suggests that this factor may have an impact on the structure of bilingual memory. Kharkhurin explained this as following: Language Proficiency The finding of a positive correlation between the proficiency in L2 and the TLP effect suggests that this factor may have an impact on the functioning of bilingual memory. Conclusion This study was the first attempt of an empirical investigation of the LMCA in bilingual memory as a cognitive mechanism facilitating divergent thinking.

    Author Contributions The manuscript was entirely prepared by the author. Conflict of Interest Statement The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Acknowledgments I thank Maria Isaeva and students of the Cherepovets State University for assistance in data collection and coding. Russian critical related word pairs and their English prototypes. Footnotes 1 Kharkhurin challenged this definition as being biased by a Western perception of creativity. Cognitive flexibility in drawings of bilingual children.

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    Bilingual verbal and nonverbal creative behavior. Sociocultural differences in the relationship between bilingualism and creative potential. The role of selective attention in bilingual creativity. A preliminary version of an internet-based Picture Naming Test. Introducing bilingual creative education to Russian school curriculum. Cambridge University Press; — The effect of mood induction and language of testing on bilingual creativity. The role of code-switching in bilingual creativity. How the age of language acquisition relates to creativity.

    Psycholinguistic Perspectives eds de Groot A. Category interference in translation and picture naming: Psycholinguistic Approaches eds Kroll J. Oxford University Press; — Pathways of the Brain. Can speaking more languages enhance your creativity? Relationship between bilingualism and creative potential among Korean American students with multicultural link.

    The measurement of bilingualism and its relationship to cognitive ability. Models of the creative process: Competing activation in bilingual language processing: Distributed memory and the representation of general and specific information. Second-Language Acquisition in Childhood: Preschool Children , 2nd Edn, Vol. Facilitation in recognizing pairs of words: Process analytic models of creative capacities. Principles and Processes eds Altarriba J. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers; —