Does 'affect' really affect the second language? A corpus eye-tracking study of emotion processing in the L2

Brouwer, J., Woumans, E. & Dirix, N., 21-Jun-2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

Emotion words seem to be processed differently than neutral words. A number of eye-tracking studies on L1 speakers have found that processing of both positive and negative words occurs faster
than that of neutral words. Conversely, studies regarding affective processing in the L2 suggest that the relative lack of ‘real-life’ input causes impoverished connectivity. Furthermore, at least one eye-tracking study suggested that the processing advantage for negative words that was found in the L1 is absent in the L2. One major issue with these studies, however, is that the experimental paradigms used do not necessarily reflect naturalistic processing mechanisms. The present study, therefore, utilizes the Ghent Eye-Tracking Corpus, which was constructed by having monolinguals and bilinguals read an entire book. Due to the size of the corpus, and the lack of explicit tasks given to participants, results of this study should be more reliable and representative. Our findings seem to suggest that in naturalistic reading the faciliatory effect of emotion in the L1 is not as pronounced as other eye-tracking studies have found. Additionally, the disembodiment of emotional words in L2 speakers does not seem to occur in our dataset.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21-Jun-2019
Event40th TABU Dag International Linguistics Conference - University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: 20-Jun-201921-Jun-2019


Conference40th TABU Dag International Linguistics Conference
Abbreviated titleTABU Dag
Internet address


40th TABU Dag International Linguistics Conference


Groningen, Netherlands

Event: Conference

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