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Second language acquisition in 6-to 8-years-olds: relationship between proficiency and N400 responses to semantic anomalies
University of Oregon, USA.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6731-1522
University of Oregon, USA.
University of Oregon, USA.
University of Oregon, USA.
2006 (English)In: Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting, CNS 2006, San Fransisco: Cognitive Neuroscience Society , 2006Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Previous research in bilingual adults indicates age of acquisition for a second language has little impact on brain organization for semantic processing. Native speakers, early-learners, and late-learners of a second language all show evidence of a similar N400 in response to semantic anomalies. However, these studies are typically conducted with adults who have both fully mature brains and many years of experience with their second language. Studies with bilingual children provide the opportunity to test the relative impact of maturational age and language proficiency on brain organization for semantic processing. In the current study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while Spanish-English bilingual and monolingual English-speaking children 6 to 8 years of age listened to naturally spoken English sentences containing semantic anomalies. Bilingual children had been exposed to Spanish since birth and English for the past 2 - 2.5 years. Monolinguals and high-proficiency bilingual children showed typical N400 responses to the semantic violations. However, bilingual children with low proficiency in English did not show this typical effect. Further, the differences in the N400 for bilingual children were not dependent on age of acquisition. These results suggest that brain organization for semantic processing is largely dependent on proficiency and support previous findings that any differences in semantic processing for first and second language learners are mediated by proficiency rather than age of acquisition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
San Fransisco: Cognitive Neuroscience Society , 2006.
Keywords [en]
Linguistic processes, Semantics
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-70877OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-70877DiVA, id: diva2:1188735
Conference
Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting, CNS 2006
Available from: 2018-03-08 Created: 2018-03-08 Last updated: 2018-08-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf