Language-specific noun bias: evidence from bilingual children

Mother and Toddler

Post written by Dr. Lei Xuan and Dr. Christine Dollaghan based on an article in Journal of Child Language

Our research addressed questions about the kinds of words that appear in the early vocabularies of bilingual children. Evidence from some languages, including English, has shown that young children acquire words for people and things before words that label actions and attributes or words that have grammatical functions. However, the hypothesis of a universal preference for nouns (i.e., a “noun bias”) in early lexical development has been challenged by studies suggesting that children acquiring languages such as Korean and Mandarin Chinese may show a weaker preference for nouns.

We used a unique research design to examine the extent of noun bias . . . → Read More: Language-specific noun bias: evidence from bilingual children

The best of Bilingualism: Read the journal editors’ pick of key articles for FREE

Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (BLC) is the international peer-reviewed journal focusing on bilingualism from a cognitive science perspective. Cambridge Journals are delighted to offer you free online access to the editors’ pick of recent influential articles from BLC. To access these articles, click on the titles below…

Innovative constructions in Dutch Turkish: An assessment of ongoing contact-induced change – A. Seza Doğruöz and Ad Backus

Dominant-language replacement: The case of international adoptees – Kenneth Hyltenstam et al.

Bilingual first-language development: Dominant language takeover, threatened minority language take-up – Virginia C. Mueller Gathercole and Enlli Môn Thomas

Past tense grammaticality judgment and production in non-native and stressed native English speakers – Janet L. McDonald and Cristine C. Roussel

. . . → Read More: The best of Bilingualism: Read the journal editors’ pick of key articles for FREE

From Brain To Language To Accent

Ping Li, editor of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, has been researching comparisons between the brains of native English speakers and Chinese speakers who are bilingual in English in the hopes of shedding more light on what differentiates and distinguishes someone who can easily pick up a new language from someone who struggles.

The research being carried out at Pennsylvania State University’s Brain, Language, and Computation Lab has been designed specifically to understand the relationships among language, brain, and culture. In particular, focusing on the dynamic changes that occur in the language learner and the dynamic interactions that occur in the competing language systems over the course of learning.

This research was recently picked up by CNN and makes for . . . → Read More: From Brain To Language To Accent