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ResearchCenter for Language and Cognition

SemCog TALK: Monolingual and bilingual logical representations in language comprehension: Evidence from priming (Mieke Slim, Ghent University)

When:Th 31-10-2019 15:00 - 16:30
Where:Harmonie building room 1312.0024

Speaker: Mieke Slim, Department of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University
Title: Monolingual and bilingual logical representations in language comprehension: Evidence from priming

A scopally ambiguous sentence, such as All hikers climbed a hill, corresponds to multiple logical representations: The sentence can refer to a situation in which all hikers climbed different hills, but also to he situation in which all hikers climbed one single hill. Previous studies have shown that these logical representations of doubly quantified sentences can be primed in language comprehension. These findings suggest that such logical representations are constructed in language comprehension (Feiman & Snedeker, 2016; Raffray & Pickering, 2010).
In my research, I have studied effects of logical representation priming between languages. Measuring such effects gives insight in the question whether bilingual logical representations are shared across languages or separate for each language. Across two studies, I have observed logical representation priming effects both within and between languages (Slim & Katsos, under review; Slim, Lauwers, & Hartsuiker, in preparation). The strength of these effects is not influenced by the bilingual’s proficiency in the L2, which suggests that there is soon and rapid form-to-meaning mapping of logical representations in L2 development (Slim et al., in preparation). Moreover, the strength of these effects is also not influenced by conflicting language specific scope preferences between the two languages a bilingual knows. However, such conflicting language-specific scope preferences can result in cross-linguistic influence in comprehension of scopally ambiguous sentences (Slim & Katsos, under review). Taken together, these findings indicate that bilinguals make use of shared logical representations in language comprehension.


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