Examining multilingualism in adulthood: The initial stages and beyond

Gisbert Kapp, Room N334, University of Birmingham
Friday 6 March 2020 (13:00-14:00)

Vincent DeLuca: V.DeLuca@bham.ac.uk

A Language and Cognition Seminar

Speaker: Eloi Puig Mayenco, from the University of Southampton

This seminar is hosted by the School of Psychology

The exact shape, timing and extent of linguistic transfer in additive multilingualism have been the subject of much research during the past 15 years and yet, there is no conclusive evidence of what factors delimit the selection of transfer in L3/Ln acquisition. To date, not much research has moved beyond the initial stages and attempted to model the cognitive processes involved in subsequent development and ultimate attainment of an L3.

In this talk, I will present the main theories that model transfer selection in L3/Ln acquisition, as well as examine two datasets tapping into the initial stages and further development of L3/Ln acquisition. The first dataset illustrates the L3 initial stages and developmental trajectories in a longitudinal design. These data will be discussed in light of the theories of morphosyntactic transfer selection and provide new insights into the study of developmental trajectories. The second dataset will be used to illustrate how a highly advanced L3 might play a role in the grammatical restructuring of previously acquired languages (i.e., the L1 and the L2). The results suggest (a) that an L2 is, in fact, more vulnerable than the L1 to regressive transfer effects as argued by the Differential Stability Hypothesis (Cabrelli Amaro, 2017); and (b) that the influence of the L3 on the L2 is enhanced when the property in the L1 and the L3 share the same morphosyntactic representation. The overall picture suggests that the field is ready to start to chart L3/Ln acquisition beyond the initial stages.

The seminar will be preceded by an informal lunch. If you wish to join us, please email Vincent DeLuca: V.DeLuca@bham.ac.uk

All welcome!