Differences in L1 linguistic attention control between monolinguals and bilinguals

Duncan, Hilary, Segalowitz, Norman, & Philips, Natalie (2016) Differences in L1 linguistic attention control between monolinguals and bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(1), pp. 106-121.

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Abstract

Relational elements of language (e.g. spatial prepositions) act to direct attention to aspects of an incoming message. The listener or reader must be able to use these elements to focus and refocus attention on the mental representation being constructed. Research has shown that this type of attention control is specific to language and can be distinguished from attention control for non-relational (semantic or content) elements. Twenty-two monolinguals (18–30 years) and nineteen bilinguals (18–30 years) completed two conditions of an alternating-runs task-switching paradigm in their first language. The relational condition involved processing spatial prepositions, and the non-relational condition involved processing concrete nouns and adjectives. Overall, monolinguals had significantly larger shift costs (i.e. greater attention control burden) in the relational condition than the non-relational condition, whereas bilinguals performed similarly in both conditions. This suggests that proficiency in a second language has a positive impact on linguistic attention control in one's native language.

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ID Code: 88773
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: bilingualism, attention control, task switching, linguistic attention control
DOI: 10.1017/S136672891400025X
ISSN: 1366-7289
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Cambridge University Press 2014
Deposited On: 29 Oct 2015 00:12
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016 05:26

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