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Segmentation and temporal structuring of events in early Spanish-Swedish bilinguals
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Bilingualism, ISSN 1367-0069, E-ISSN 1756-6878, Vol. 15, no 1, 56-84 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine patterns of segmentation and temporal structuring of events in early bilinguals. The participant group consists of 25 L1 Spanish - L2 Swedish adult bilinguals residing in Sweden, with ages of L2 acquisition ranging from 1 to 11 years. There were 15 native speakers of Swedish and 15 native speakers of Spanish engaged as monolingual controls. The participants provided online-retellings in both languages of an excerpt from the film Modern Times. The bilinguals' L1 and L2 retellings were compared with those of the monolingual speakers of the respective languages. The results indicated that the bilinguals resorted to the same event segmentation strategies in both L1 and L2, opting for an intermediate degree of event resolution. This behavior fell in between the monolingual Spanish high degree of resolution and the monolingual Swedish low degree of resolution. As for temporal structuring patterns, the results showed that the bilinguals in their L2 converged with the Swedish monolingual controls, linking the events by means of anaphoric adverbials (i.e., 'x then y'). The bilinguals also converged with the Spanish-speaking controls in their L1 perspectivation patterns, as both groups left the temporal relation between the events to be inferred and focused on ongoingness (i.e., now x, now y). These findings are discussed in terms of convergence and co-existence of conceptual patterns (Pavlenko, 1999, 2008).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 15, no 1, 56-84 p.
Keyword [en]
bilingualism, conceptualization, event, Spanish, Swedish
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69419DOI: 10.1177/1367006910379259ISI: 000293174600004OAI: diva2:478379
authorCount :1Available from: 2012-01-16 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2012-03-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Conceptualización de eventos en español y en sueco: Estudios sobre hablantes monolingües y bilingües
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conceptualización de eventos en español y en sueco: Estudios sobre hablantes monolingües y bilingües
2009 (Spanish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Event conceptualization in Spanish and Swedish : Studies on monolingual and bilingual speakers
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with language-specific patterns in the selection and organization of information (i.e., conceptualization) reflected in the expression of events by monolingual and bilingual speakers of Spanish and Swedish. Previous research on language specificity in event conceptualization shows that speakers of languages with grammatical aspect exhibit fine-grained event segmentation and deictic temporal linkage patterns, whereas speakers of non-aspect languages resort to coarse-grained segmentation patterns and anaphoric linkage. This finding has led to the hypothesis that grammatical aspect induces specific event conceptualization patterns. The overall aim of the current thesis is, first, to test this hypothesis on Spanish and Swedish, and second, to extend this line of research to the domain of bilingualism. The thesis is based on four individual studies: Study I examines monolingual speakers of Spanish and Swedish. The results show that event conceptualization in these languages patterns with the dichotomy +/- grammatical aspect; Study II explores the relationship between endpoint encoding patterns and proficiency with aspectual contrasts in the Spanish of Spanish-Swedish bilinguals. The findings show that the less Spanish-like a participant’s endpoint encoding frequencies are, the less sensitive he/she is to aspectual contrasts; Study III explores the degree to which language-specific patterns of segmentation and temporal linking of events are fused/separated in Spanish-Swedish bilinguals. The results show that whereas the bilinguals resort to an event segmentation pattern that is midway between the Spanish fine-grained patterns and the Swedish coarse-grained patterns, they exhibit nativelike temporal linking patterns in both Spanish and Swedish; Study IV contextualizes some of the author’s studies from a general viewpoint, with the intention of illustrating the fruitfulness of extending the research on event conceptualization to the domain of bilingualism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, Stockholm University, 2009. 52 p.
aspect, bilingualism, conceptualization, events, linguistic relativity, Spanish, Swedish, thinking for speaking
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26938 (URN)978-91-7155-853-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-06-05, hörsal 3, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00 (Spanish)
Available from: 2012-03-09 Created: 2009-04-20 Last updated: 2012-03-09Bibliographically approved

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Bylund, Emanuel
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