CLS Meeting Series - Antonella Sorace (University of Edinburgh)
Dec 12, 2014
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
|Where||127 Moore Building|
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L1 attrition meets L2 acquisition: referring expressions in late bilingualism
Reference tracking requires the language user to both infer appropriate pronoun-referent mappings and dynamically update the discourse model following a change of referent status. Recent research shows that referring expressions and other structures requiring efficient updating of context-dependent information remain variable even in highly proficient second language speakers and become unstable in speakers experiencing native language attrition from a second language. I will first present some recent experimental evidence showing extensions of marked anaphoric pronouns in Italian and German bilinguals. I will then explore possible explanations focusing on demands on non-linguistic executive functions that especially affect late bilinguals and interact with linguistic factors. I will finally conclude that studying these phenomena across the lifespan requires a cross-disciplinary model of bilingualism that looks at the interactions between linguistic properties and cognitive factors outside the language domain.