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Paradoxical asymmetry in monolingual language sets / Cergol Kovačević, Kristina ; Horga, Damir.

By: Cergol Kovačević, Kristina.
Contributor(s): Horga, Damir [aut].
Material type: ArticleArticleDescription: 379-393 str.Other title: Paradoxical asymmetry in monolingual language sets [Naslov na engleskom:].Subject(s): 6.03 | paradoxical asymmetry; monolingual language sets; Croatian speakers of English In: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Multilingualism str. 379-393Summary: In this paper the existence of paradoxical asymmetry, defined as faster reaction times (RTs) to the second language (L2) than the first language (L1), in the spoken production of the Croatian and English languages is investigated. Contrary to the common procedure in which asymmetrical processing of the two languages is obtained in language-switching tasks, this study uses monolingual blocks in which a picture-naming task is carried out in monolingual language sets, either entirely in Croatian or entirely in English. Performance of two groups of speakers is compared: proficient Croatian-English dominant bilinguals and Croatian non-proficient learners of English. It was hypothesized that the RTs to the L2 in the dominant bilinguals’ production would be faster than the RTs in their L1 (paradoxical asymmetry), while the less proficient L2 speakers would show the opposite result pattern (asymmetry). The hypotheses were confirmed. The results were interpreted in terms of Grosjean’s (1998, 2001) bilingual language mode. It is suggested that the paradoxical asymmetry effect occurs due to the always present resting level activation of the mother tongue which needs to be inhibited for the processing of L2 in the dominant bilinguals to take place. Upon the processing of the L1 its reactivation takes up a lot of cognitive effort. This reactivation results in increased processing costs of the mother tongue in the processing of the dominant bilinguals. The asymmetrical processing costs found in the non-proficient L2 learners of English are interpreted in terms of the Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll and Stewart 1994) which predicts that the access to the L2 lexical form is performed via the L1 lexical form in low- proficiency L2 users. The emphasis of the paper is on the paradoxical asymmetry effect taking place in the non-switch condition, which points to the role of the constant underlying activation and inhibition of the speakers’ languages taking place, rather than their instant activation and inhibition occurring upon the language switch moment.
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In this paper the existence of paradoxical asymmetry, defined as faster reaction times (RTs) to the second language (L2) than the first language (L1), in the spoken production of the Croatian and English languages is investigated. Contrary to the common procedure in which asymmetrical processing of the two languages is obtained in language-switching tasks, this study uses monolingual blocks in which a picture-naming task is carried out in monolingual language sets, either entirely in Croatian or entirely in English. Performance of two groups of speakers is compared: proficient Croatian-English dominant bilinguals and Croatian non-proficient learners of English. It was hypothesized that the RTs to the L2 in the dominant bilinguals’ production would be faster than the RTs in their L1 (paradoxical asymmetry), while the less proficient L2 speakers would show the opposite result pattern (asymmetry). The hypotheses were confirmed. The results were interpreted in terms of Grosjean’s (1998, 2001) bilingual language mode. It is suggested that the paradoxical asymmetry effect occurs due to the always present resting level activation of the mother tongue which needs to be inhibited for the processing of L2 in the dominant bilinguals to take place. Upon the processing of the L1 its reactivation takes up a lot of cognitive effort. This reactivation results in increased processing costs of the mother tongue in the processing of the dominant bilinguals. The asymmetrical processing costs found in the non-proficient L2 learners of English are interpreted in terms of the Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll and Stewart 1994) which predicts that the access to the L2 lexical form is performed via the L1 lexical form in low- proficiency L2 users. The emphasis of the paper is on the paradoxical asymmetry effect taking place in the non-switch condition, which points to the role of the constant underlying activation and inhibition of the speakers’ languages taking place, rather than their instant activation and inhibition occurring upon the language switch moment.

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