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Cognitive restructuring in the bilingual mind: motion event construal in early Cantonese-English bilinguals

Wang, Y; Wei, L; (2019) Cognitive restructuring in the bilingual mind: motion event construal in early Cantonese-English bilinguals. Language and Cognition , 11 (4) pp. 527-554. 10.1017/langcog.2019.31. Green open access

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Abstract

Languages differ typologically in motion event encoding (Talmy, 2000). Furthermore, the cross-linguistic variations in lexicalization modulate cognition in a dynamic and task-dependent manner (Slobin, 1996a). This study aims to investigate whether early Cantonese–English bilinguals behave differently from monolinguals in each language when lexicalizing and categorizing voluntary motion in different language contexts. Specifically, monolinguals were instructed and narrated in their native languages. We assigned bilinguals to a monolingual and a bilingual context by manipulating immediate language use in their oral descriptions. Results from monolinguals suggested an effect of language on event conceptualization. However, results from bilinguals showed that their performances patterned with English monolinguals in both event lexicalization and conceptualization regardless of the language context. These findings indicate that early exposure to a second language has motivated speakers to converge to a single lexicalization pattern compatible for both languages. And the degree of convergence is modulated by the amount of language contact with each language. The study demonstrates that participants draw on their linguistic knowledge during the non-verbal task and provides evidence for L2-biased cognitive restructuring within the framework of thinking-for-speaking.

Type: Article
Title: Cognitive restructuring in the bilingual mind: motion event construal in early Cantonese-English bilinguals
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/langcog.2019.31
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/langcog.2019.31
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: cross-linguistic differences, thinking-for-speaking, motion event conceptualization, cognitive restructuring, language context, early Cantonese–English bilinguals
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092516
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