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CLS Distinguished Language Science Colloquium

Friday, February 16 at 9:00am to 10:30am

127 Moore Building, UP

Dr. Janet van Hell, Professor of Psychology and Linguistics, Co-Director of the CLS (PSU), presents her research in the talk "Code-Switching in Bilingual Speakers:  Behavioral and Electrophysiological Evidence".

Abstract:

A unique feature of bilingual speech is that bilinguals often produce utterances that switch between languages. The large majority of psycholinguistic and neurocognitive studies examining switching between languages have focused on the processing of a series of single, unrelated items (e.g., unrelated words, numbers, or pictures) rather than switching between languages in a meaningful utterance (e.g., a sentence). However, an emergent body of studies seek to examine the cognitive and neural correlates of language switching in more naturally occurring situations: language switching within meaningful sentences. I will present recent psycholinguistic and electrophysiological studies that examined the cognitive and neural mechanisms associated with intra-sentential code-switching in production and comprehension. I will also discuss evidence showing that switching direction (switching from the first language to the second language, or vice versa) and accented speech modulate switching costs when bilinguals read or listen to code-switched sentences. Together these studies attest to the value of integrating linguistic and neurocognitive approaches to gain more insight into the neural, cognitive, and linguistic mechanisms of intra-sentential code-switching in comprehension and production.

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