The role of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural experiences in bilinguals’ divergent thinking
Research addressing the possible consequences of bilingualism for individuals’ creative abilities has revealed a contradiction between the experimental findings of bilinguals’ superiority on the creativity tasks and the real life observations of no significant relationship between being bilingual and being creative. The present study makes an attempt to resolve this contradiction and investigates a possible effect that bilingualism might have on creative abilities. Three factors in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural experiences of bilingual individuals are examined: language proficiency, age of second language acquisition, and experience and participation in two cultures. The empirical study with Russian-English bilingual immigrants living in the United States and English monolingual native speakers revealed that cross-linguistic factors in bilinguals’ development had an influence on their divergent thinking abilities, which is necessary but sufficient component of creative thought. These findings suggest that although bilingualism may lay the foundation of creative thinking it does not necessary imply being creative. To account for these findings, a cross-language transfer is proposed as a cognitive mechanism facilitating divergent thinking in bilinguals. A specific architecture of bilingual memory in which two lexicons are mutually linked to the shared conceptual system is theorized to facilitate the functioning of the cross-language transfer.
The impact of second language (L2) on first language (L1), known as L2 transfer, has been suggested as a fundamental driving force of L1 attrition. The goal of this study was to test the differential attrition of verb aspect and tense in L1 (Russian) under the influence of L2 (German) grammatical properties. We also investigated whether the age of bilingualism onset and the amount of exposure to L1 modulate this L2 transfer effect.
We tested sentence processing in 30 adult Russian monolingual participants and 30 L1 attritors – Russian-German bilingual speakers – with early versus late bilingualism onset and with low versus high amounts of exposure to L1. Participants heard grammatically correct sentences, sentences with aspect violations and sentences with tense violations, and were asked to detect errors. The accuracy of participants’ responses was analysed using generalized linear mixed-effects modelling in R.
The L2 transfer effect was found, but was strongly modulated by the amount of L1 exposure: only bilinguals with little exposure to L1 showed greater attrition of L1 aspect compared to L1 tense. Moreover, the age of bilingualism onset proved to be more critical than the L2 transfer effect: an earlier bilingualism onset resulted in greater attrition of both aspect and tense in L1. The study provided new evidence about the differential impact of the grammatical similarity between L1 and L2, the age of bilingualism onset and the amount of L1 exposure on aspect and tense processing in L1 attritors.
Our findings suggest that greater L1 use after immigration helps bilingual speakers to be less susceptible to L2 transfer and prevents attrition of L1-specific grammatical categories. Also, a general decline in processing verbal morphology is more likely to occur in speakers with an early rather than a late onset of bilingualism.
A unique feature of this book is that chapters favor that line of cognitive linguistics which makes a clear distinction between real world and projected world. Information conveyed by language must be about the projected world. Both the experimental results and the systematic claims in this volume call for a weak form of whorfianism. Also, chapters add some relatively unexplored issues of bilingualism to the well-known ones, such as gender systems in the bilingual mind, context and task, synergic concepts, blending, the relationship between lexical categorization and ontological categorization among others.
Im Laufe ihres Lebens erwerben und/oder lernen die meisten Menschen mehr als eine Sprache. Dies können zwei (oder mehrere) Erstsprachen, Dialekt- und Standardsprache, die Erstsprache und eine Fremdsprache oder mehrere Fremdsprachen (die man in der Schule oder in der neuen Sprachumgebung erlernt) sein. Aber in welchem Zusammenhang stehen die Sprachen bei einem bilingualen Individuum zueinander, wie beeinflussen sie sich gegenseitig? Dass die Erstsprache beim Zweitspracherwerb durch Erwachsene einen Einfluss auf die zu erwerbende Sprache hat, wird heute in der Regel nicht mehr bestritten. In der Fachliteratur finden sich zahlreiche Untersuchungen, die die Einflussnahme der Erstsprache auf die Zweitsprache behandeln. Viel weniger wird aber das andere Phänomen untersucht, nämlich Interferenzfehler, die auf die Einflussnahme der Zweitsprache auf die Erstsprache zurückzuführen sind. Bei Personen, die lange in einer anderen Sprachumgebung leben und hauptsächlich die neue Sprache (Landessprache) benutzen, sind jedoch Fehler in der Erstsprache festzustellen. In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird den folgenden Fragen nachgegangen: 1. Wie beeinflusst die Erstsprache die Zweisprache und umgekehrt? 2. Was sind die typischen Interferenzfehler in der Erstsprache sowie in der Zweitsprache? 3. Welche Faktoren beeinflussen den Erwerb sowie den Verlust einer Sprache? 4. Spielt die empfundene Identität der Person als Angehörige der einen oder anderen Sprechergruppe für die sprachliche Kompetenz einer Person eine Rolle?
The chapter presents a theoretical framework of multilingual creative cognition. It rests on creative cognition paradigm perceiving creative capacity as an essential property of normative human cognition. Increase in general cognitive functioning may facilitate an individual’s creative abilities. Multilingual development may result in establishing specific architectures of the mind that are likely to promote later cognitive advantages. If multilingualism results in more elaborate cognitive structures and/or functioning, it may also facilitate creative functioning. Thus, an individual’s acquisition and use of multiple languages may have impact on one’s cognition and therefore facilitate creative cognition. The chapter reviews the empirical research supporting multilingual creative cognition. It identifies cognitive mechanisms underlying creative thinking, which are potentially encouraged by an individual’s cross-linguistic and cross-cultural experiences. The chapter concludes with a discussion of potential applications of the multilingual creative cognition. Specifically, it introduces a Bilingual Creative Education program, which constitutes a unified teaching model introducing both language learning and creativity-fostering instruction to the school curriculum. The purpose of the program is to introduce students to a school curriculum in two languages and to foster four defining aspects of creativity: novelty, utility, aesthetics, and authenticity.
Ruth Albert hat seit 1994 das Deutsch-als-Fremdsprache-Studium an der Marburger Philipps-Universität zu einer Institution mit weltweiter Bekanntheit gemacht. Auch ihre zahlreichen Lehr- und Forschungsaufenthalte, in u.a. China, Taiwan, Israel, Tunesien, Spanien zeugen genauso wie die zahlreichen Beiträge dieses Bandes von nicht im deutschsprachigen Raum tätigen Autor/innen von der internationalen Reputation, die Ruth Albert als Lehrende und Forschende hat. Dieser Band möchte Ruth Albert und ihr Schaffen würdigen. Kolleg/innen, Mitarbeiter/innen und Schüler/innen von ihr haben sich an diesem Band beteiligt, der die vielseitigen Forschungsfelder und die internationalen Tätigkeitsbereiche von Ruth Albert wiedergibt. Die Beiträge lassen sich folgenden Themen zuordnen: Mehrsprachigkeit und mentales Lexikon Sprachliche Strukturen: Erwerb, Vermittlung und Gebrauch Schreiben lernen und Schreiben DaF/DaZ weltweit Interkulturelle Pragmatik und Kommunikation
This chapter provides an overview of empirical research on the relationship between bilingualism and creativity. It focuses on the creative performance of bilingual and monolingual children and adults. After reviewing the empirical findings, the chapter discusses their methodological issues and provides their theoretical interpretation. One of the major methodological glitches contaminating not only bilingual creativity research, but also bilingualism research at large, arises from a procedure that assigns participants to bilingual and monolingual groups. Most research investigating a relationship between bilingualism and creativity uses a cross-sectional design, which can be subsequently divided in between- and within-group designs. The impact of bilingualism on creativity is mediated by the effects of bicultural experience. The relationship between bilingualism and creativity becomes the spurious consequence of the confounding variables. There is evidence that bilingualism results in more elaborate cognitive structures and/or functioning. Lambert suggested that bilingualism often entails repeated switching from one language to another and constant dealing with several code systems.
This study examines knowledge of Russian non-compositional expressions (idioms) of Heritage Russian speakers. In this paper we present the results of interviews and experiments conducted in immigrant families and targeting both parents (first-generation immigrants) and their children (heritage speakers). In the current study Heritage Russian speakers are children who were born in the USA and use Russian language only with their family. Their parents who left Russia around 1980- 1990 are baseline speakers. The study has two parts: the first one is dedicated to the general description of their speech while the second section is devoted to the cultural side of their language. In this respect, the recognition and knowledge of Russian non-compositional expressions were tested. As Heritage Russian speakers are bilinguals, their cultural background is rather ambiguous. The current research proves the idea that Heritage Russian speakers do not share the same cultural background as their parents.
People with aphasia frequently have difficulties understanding semantically reversible sentences presented in derived word order. This impairment may be related to the inconsistent processing of morphological information, as well as to difficulties inhibiting the inverse interpretation of the sentence. Studies on bilingual aphasia may contribute to our understanding of these issues by shedding light on i) differences in processing of morphology across languages; ii) enhanced control mechanisms. We studied early Basque- Spanish bilingual speakers with aphasia and monolingual Spanish speakers with aphasia, as well as unimpaired individuals. Using comparable sets of materials across languages, we combined behavioural and eye-tracking methods. Results indicate that i) at the group level, bilingual speakers perform better in Spanish than in Basque, particularly in sentences with Theme-Agent argument order. Individual case analysis shows a pattern of weak dissoci- ation across languages in several participants; ii) bilingual people with aphasia do not outperform monolingual people with aphasia in comprehension accuracy, although gaze data suggests that bilingual speakers exhibit higher inhibition and monitoring abilities.