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Academic Paper


Title: Linguistically directed attention to the temporal aspect of action events in monolingual English speakers and Chinese–English bilingual speakers with varying English proficiency
Author: Jenn-Yeu Chen
Institution: National Cheng Kung University
Author: Jui-Ju Su
Institution: National Cheng Kung University
Author: Chao-Yang Lee
Institution: Ohio University
Author: Padraig G. O'Seaghdha
Institution: Lehigh University
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
English
Abstract: Chinese and English speakers seem to hold different conceptions of time which may be related to the different codings of time in the two languages. Employing a sentence–picture matching task, we have investigated this linguistic relativity in Chinese–English bilinguals varying in English proficiency and found that those with high proficiency performed differently from those with low proficiency. Additional monolingual English data, reported here, showed further that high-proficiency bilinguals performed similarly to the English monolinguals, suggesting that Chinese speakers’ sensitivity to the time of an action event might be modifiable according to the extent of their experience with a tensed language.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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