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Academic Paper

Title: Emotional force of languages in multilingual speakers in Finland
Author: Sanna Heini Maria Räsänen
Institution: University of Liverpool
Author: Julian M Pine
Institution: University of Liverpool
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Finnish
Abstract: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the better recall of emotional words applies to both native and later-learned languages. In a mixed design, 41 native Finnish speakers, who were substantially less proficient in their later-learned languages, which were English (second language) and Swedish (third language), were shown negative/taboo, positive, and neutral words in the three languages. Their memory for the words was assessed in an unexpected free recall test preceded by a depth of processing task (deep or shallow). The results revealed that an emotion-word advantage was visible for negatively valenced words (negative/taboo) in the native language, Finnish, and the second language, English. However, the nature of the processing task had no significant effect on recall. Additional self-report measures indicated that English was perceived as more emotional and more frequently used than Swedish. These results suggest that the amount and frequency of everyday exposure to a particular language are two critical factors in determining the degree of emotionality of that language for the speaker.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 35, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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