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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Are non-native structural preferences affected by native language preferences?
Author: Susanna Flett
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Author: Holly P. Branigan
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Author: Martin J Pickering
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Abstract: A structural priming experiment investigated whether bilingual speakers’ processing of their non-native language (L2) depends entirely on their experience of L2, or whether it is also affected by their experience of the native language (L1). German-L1 and Spanish-L1 proficient speakers of English (and English-L1 controls) described pictures of dative events after reading unrelated sentences that had a Prepositional Object (PO) or Double Object (DO) structure. Participants in all three groups were more likely to produce DO descriptions after reading DO sentences than PO sentences. Crucially, Spanish-L1 speakers, whose L1 allows PO but not DO structures, showed the same pattern of priming as German-L1 speakers, whose L1 allows both structures. Additionally, the groups showed no difference in their baseline preference for DO structures. We suggest that in proficient bilinguals, processing in L2 is not affected by L1 experience and L1 preferences, and propose a model to account for our findings.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 4.

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