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Di Pisa: Effects of markedness in gender processing inItalian as a heritage language
44:13
MultiMind ITN

Di Pisa: Effects of markedness in gender processing inItalian as a heritage language

'The Multilingual Mind: Lecture series on multilingualism across disciplines' 13.12.2022 Grazia Di Pisa (University of Konstanz): Effects of markedness in gender processing in Italian as a heritage language: A speed accuracy tradeoff Abstract Grammatical gender (hereafter gender) – especially in systems (like Romance languages) that typically have a relatively transparent system – is acquired early by monolingual children (e.g., Kupisch, Müller & Cantone, 2002). Yet gender shows variability in (some) heritage speaker bilinguals (HSs). In a HS context, it is vulnerable for low proficiency speakers generally and especially when the majority language lacks gender (e.g., Polinsky, 2008). Conversely, gender seems to be on target when acquired in HS individuals with high proficiency, especially when the majority language has gender (e.g., Bianchi, 2013). Herein, we examined sources of potential morphological variability in Italian HSs living in Germany (a language pairing where both have gender, albeit with important differences), with a focus on morphological markedness (masculine as the default) and task type (explicit vs. implicit knowledge). Fifty-four adult Italian HSs living in Germany and 40 homeland Italian speakers completed an online Self-Paced Reading Task and an offline Grammaticality Judgment Task. Both tasks involved sentences with grammatical and ungrammatical noun-adjective agreement, manipulating markedness. In grammatical sentences, both groups showed a markedness effect: shorter reading times (RTs) and higher accuracy for sentences containing masculine nouns as compared to sentences with feminine nouns. In ungrammatical sentences, although both groups were sensitive to ungrammaticality, only HSs showed a markedness effect, that is, they had significantly longer RTs and higher accuracy when violations were realized on feminine adjectives. Proficiency in the HL was a significant predictor of accuracy and RTs at the individual level. Taken together, results indicate that HSs acquire and process gender in a qualitatively similar way to homeland native speakers. However, RT evidence seems to suggest that at least under particular experimental methods, markedness considerations are more prevalent for HSs resulting in a speed-accuracy tradeoff. Organised by the University of Konstanz and the Marie Curie ITN project 'The Multilingual Mind' (765556).
Gámez: Gestures as scaffolding to learn vocabulary in a foreign language
50:51
MultiMind ITN

Gámez: Gestures as scaffolding to learn vocabulary in a foreign language

'The Multilingual Mind: Lecture series on multilingualism across disciplines' 11.01.2022 Ana Belén García Gámez (University of Algarve) Gestures as scaffolding to learn vocabulary in a foreign language Abstract In two experimental studies we explored the role of gestures on foreign language (FL) vocabulary learning. First, we evaluated the impact of gestures on nouns (Experiment 1) and verbs learning (Experiment 2). Four training methods were compared: The learning of FL words with congruent gestures, incongruent gestures, meaningless gestures, and no gestures. Better vocabulary learning was found in both experiments when participants learned FL words with congruent gestures relative to the no gesture condition. This result indicates that gestures have a positive effect on FL learning when there is a match between the word meaning and the gesture. However, the recall of words in the incongruent and meaningless gesture condition was lower than that of the no gesture condition. This suggests that gestures might have a negative impact on FL learning. I will analyze these results in terms of FL learning facilitation and interference effects. However, a question remained, do we have to perform the gestures ourselves to observe the learning improvement? A third experiment addressed this topic directly. Participants were divided in two experimental groups. In one group, the participants learned the words by performing gestures (“do” teaching group) and the other group only had to observe the gestures performed by others (“see” teaching group). Compared to the meaningless gesture condition, the processing of congruent gestures facilitated the recall of FL words in the “see” and “do” teaching groups. However, the interference effect associated with the processing of incongruent gestures was greater in the “see” teaching group than in the “do” teaching group. Thus, the performance of gestures seems to mitigate the negative impact that the use of gestures may have on the teaching of vocabulary in a FL. Taken together, iconic gestures might be a good tool to learn new vocabulary in a FL when the gestures and words meaning match. In addition, the gestures performance mitigates negative effects associated with meaning mismatches. Hence, if one has to choose, a FL learning strategy based on the performance of congruent iconic gestures would be desirable. Organised by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Jagiellonian University, University of Konstanz, University Milano-Bicocca, University of Reading and the Marie Curie ITN project 'The Multilingual Mind' (765556).
Taha: What is wrong with rhythm in developmental dyslexia?
49:34
MultiMind ITN

Taha: What is wrong with rhythm in developmental dyslexia?

'The Multilingual Mind: Lecture series on multilingualism across disciplines' 14.12.2021 Juhayna Taha (University Milano Bicocca) What is wrong with rhythm in developmental dyslexia? Abstract Individuals with developmental dyslexia (DD) are a heterogenous group and may exhibit co- occurring deficits that go beyond reading itself. Beside the well-recognized weak phonological skills, some children with DD show ideficits in oral language skills (McArthur et al.,2000) and language processing (e.g., Cantiani et al., 2013). Moreover, individuals with DD show motor skill deficits (see Nicolson & Fawcett 2011) such as motor control difficulties in handwriting (Pagliarini et al., 2015). Impairments in rhythm perception and production are also evident in individuals with DD (see Ladányi et al., 2020).Importantly, converging evidence has identified a link between rhythmic abilities and language processing, handwriting and reading in typical and atypical populations (e.g., Corriveau & Goswami, 2009; Friederici et al., 2003; Gordon et al., 2015a; Pagliarini et al., 2015). In this talk, I discuss the idea that that rhythm, as also proposed by other researchers, is key to understanding the reading, language and motor difficulties in individuals with DD. I will review the body of research on rhythmic deficits in individuals with DD across different cognitive domains. Then, I will discuss our view that a deficit in anticipation ( a rhythmic component) impairs reading, some motor activity, as handwriting, rhythmic processing and language. This hypothesis will be referred to as the Inefficient Anticipation Hypothesis. New evidence on the role of rhythmic deficits in the identification of DD in L1 and L2 Italian-speaking children with DD will also be presented. Organised by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Jagiellonian University, University of Konstanz, University Milano-Bicocca, University of Reading and the Marie Curie ITN project 'The Multilingual Mind' (765556).
Fitzpatrick: Applied linguistics in minoritised language contexts: three case studies from Wales
59:14
MultiMind ITN

Fitzpatrick: Applied linguistics in minoritised language contexts: three case studies from Wales

'The Multilingual Mind: Lecture series on multilingualism across disciplines' 30.11.2021 Tess Fitzpatrick (Swansea University) Applied linguistics in minoritised language contexts: three case studies from Wales Abstract In this lecture I present three applied linguistics projects which are not only situated in, but also motivated by, the linguistic environment of Wales, a bilingual country in the UK. The Welsh language is classed as ‘vulnerable’ in the UNESCO taxonomy of endangered languages; aspects of policy, infrastructure and culture lend some linguistic security, and the Welsh Government’s ambition to double the number of Welsh speakers to 1 million by 2050 has generated new engagement with applied linguists. In partnership with colleagues, practitioners and community members, I have worked on a number of projects relating to pedagogy, language resources, and better understanding the bilingual lexicon. Methodologies we employed include word association experiments, corpus creation, practitioner surveys and scrutiny of research literature and policy reports. I will discuss both our headline findings and the more implicit messages from our work, and consider how these might inform continuing research into bilingualism and minoritised language communities. Organised by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Jagiellonian University, University of Konstanz, University Milano-Bicocca, University of Reading and the Marie Curie ITN project 'The Multilingual Mind' (765556).
Soare: The acquisition of the morphosyntax of Heritage Romanian in a dominant French setting
54:37
MultiMind ITN

Soare: The acquisition of the morphosyntax of Heritage Romanian in a dominant French setting

'The Multilingual Mind: Lecture series on multilingualism across disciplines' 23.11.2021 Elena Soare (University of Paris 8 & CNRS) The acquisition of the morphosyntax of Heritage Romanian in a dominant French setting Abstract The speakers of a Heritage Language (HL) are bilinguals who learnt a language in their family, but this language is not the majority language of their society. (Montrul, 2016; Polinsky, 2018). One often assumes that in this situation we deal with an unbalanced bilingualism, in which the HL suffers a delay in acquisition, or might be incompletely acquired, and some structures may undergo attrition. Most of the time, Heritage Speakers (HS) participating in the studies are adults from the first or the second generation of immigrants, which leaves uninvestigated the early phase of the acquisition of these languages and does not allow to identify possible differences and correlations between the early linguistic development and what happens after the young HS begin schooling in the dominant language. In this talk, we will present the first results of a pilot study on the acquisition of Heritage Romanian (HR) by children of Romanian immigrants in France (Parisian surroundings). Our goal is to identify some possible differences between the structures which are vulnerable in the acquisition of HR before schooling (age 5-7) and after the beginning of schooling in French (age 8-12), and we collected data from two relevant age groups. We try to answer three questions: (i) can we identify an unbalanced bilingualism in the early acquistion process? (ii) what structures are vulnerable? (iii) is there any difference between these structures in the two groups? Our data come from the first corpus of “frog stories” recorded in HR in France (37 stories collected till now). The children follow a Romanian course in the north surroundings of Paris. We compare the HR of these children to the baseline and to monolingual children from mainland. Our results indicate a difference between HS of Romanian in the younger group and those who have already began schooling in French. Only the latter exhibit an unbalanced bilingualism. The vulnerable structures are, in the case of 5-7 years olds, the same as in monolingual acquisition. Older bilinguals, in turn, show the impact of the dominant language (transfer) in these structures, more precisely properties situated at the interface of syntax and discourse, syntax and morphology, and structures with a complex syntactic derivation. Here, we will investigate in particular relative clauses and Differential Object Marking. Organised by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Jagiellonian University, University of Konstanz, University Milano-Bicocca, University of Reading and the Marie Curie ITN project 'The Multilingual Mind' (765556).
Carioti: A Reading-Free Tool for screening of dyslexia in monolingual&minority language children