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  Bilingual and monolingual children process pragmatic cues differently when learning novel adjectives

Groba, A., de Houwer, A., Mehnert, J., Rossi, S., & Obrig, H. (2018). Bilingual and monolingual children process pragmatic cues differently when learning novel adjectives. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(2), 384-402. doi:10.1017/S1366728917000232.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-9FE6-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-9B89-4
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Groba, Agnes1, 2, Author              
de Houwer, Annick3, Author
Mehnert, Jan1, 4, Author              
Rossi, Sonja1, 5, Author              
Obrig, Hellmuth1, 6, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2Institute of Special and Inclusive Education, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Linguistics, University of Erfurt, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Department of Medical Psychology, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria, ou_persistent22              
6Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Bilingual preschoolers; Pragmatic gestures; Adjective learning; fNIRS
 Abstract: Previous studies have shown bilingually and monolingually developing children to differ in their sensitivity to referential pragmatic deixis in challenging tasks, with bilinguals exhibiting a higher sensitivity. The learning of adjectives is particularly challenging, but has rarely been investigated in bilingual children. In the present study we presented a pragmatic cue supporting the learning of novel adjectives to 32 Spanish–German bilingual and 28 German monolingual 5-year-olds. The children’s responses to a descriptive hand gesture highlighting an object’s property were measured behaviorally using a forced choice task and neurophysiologically through functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). While no group differences emerged on the behavioral level, fNIRS revealed a higher activation in bilingual than monolingual children in the vicinity of the posterior part of the right superior temporal sulcus (STS). This result supports the prominent role of the STS in processing pragmatic gestures and suggests heightened pragmatic sensitivity for bilingual children.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-05-272018-03
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1017/S1366728917000232
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Funding organization : Federal State of Thuringia
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Funding organization : FAZIT-Stiftung
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Funding organization : Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

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Title: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge University Press / UK
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 21 (2) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 384 - 402 Identifier: ISSN: 1366-7289
CoNE: /journals/resource/954925343779