Linguistics colloquium: Katy Borodkin
Katy Borodkin, Tel Aviv University
Title: Hemispheric involvement in native and non-native language processing
Abstract: The circumstances under which native and non-native languages are acquired and used are often very different. Compared to native language, non-native language is acquired later in life and, especially when acquired in a formal setting, enjoys more limited exposure and lower language proficiency. These differences may have implications on how the brain processes the languages. My talk will focus on this topic by describing a series of behavioral studies aiming to uncover the differential involvement of the right and the left hemisphere in native and non-native language processing. The divided visual field paradigm combined with a lexical decision task was employed in three experiments comprising a total of about 170 Hebrew-English speakers (all Hebrew native speakers who learned English in school). Target words were primed with phonologically related, semantically related or unrelated words in Hebrew or English. The experiments showed that the hemispheric processing is different for Hebrew compared to English, for phonologically related pairs in particular (a left hemisphere advantage for Hebrew processing and a right hemisphere advantage or bilateral processing for English). These findings further advance our understanding of cerebral organization and processing of languages in bilingual speakers.
Building 504, room 7
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