Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Language and thought in a multilingual context: The case of isiXhosa*

  • EMANUEL BYLUND (a1) and PANOS ATHANASOPOULOS (a2)

Abstract

Situated within the grammatical aspect approach to motion event cognition, this study takes a first step in investigating language and thought in functional multilinguals by studying L1 isiXhosa speakers living in South Africa. IsiXhosa being a non-aspect language, the study investigates how the knowledge and use of additional languages with grammatical aspect influence cognition of endpoint-oriented motion events among L1 isiXhosa speakers. Results from a triads-matching task show that participants who often used aspect languages and had greater exposure to English in primary education were less prone to rely on endpoints when categorising motion events.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Emanuel Bylund, Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Department of Swedish and Multilingualism, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden manne.bylund@biling.su.se

Footnotes

Hide All
*

This research was funded through the SANPAD project Community Development through Early Literacy. We are grateful to the three anonymous BLC reviewers and editor Carmen Silva-Corvalán for their insightful comments on a previous version of this manuscript. We also wish to express our gratitude to Christiane von Stutterheim and Barbara Schmiedtová at Heidelberg University for making their video clips available to us, and to Petar Simonovic for proof-reading the paper. All remaining errors are entirely our own.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Abrahamsson, N., & Hyltenstam, K. (2008). The robustness of aptitude effects in near-native second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30, 481509.
Aronin, L., & Singleton, D. (2012). Multilingualism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Athanasopoulos, P. (2007). Interaction between grammatical categories and cognition in bilinguals: The role of proficiency, cultural immersion, and language of instruction. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22, 689699.
Athanasopoulos, P. (2009). Cognitive representation of colour in bilinguals: The case of Greek blues. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12, 8395.
Athanasopoulos, P., & Bylund, E. (2013). Does grammatical aspect affect motion event cognition? A cross-linguistic comparison of English and Swedish speakers. Cognitive Science, 37, 286309.
Athanasopoulos, P., Damjanovic, L., Krajciova, A., & Sasaki, M. (2011). Representation of colour concepts in bilingual cognition: The case of Japanese blues. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 917.
Athanasopoulos, P., Dering, B., Wiggett, A., Kuipers, J.-R., & Thierry, G. (2010). Perceptual shift in bilingualism: Brain potentials reveal plasticity in pre-attentive colour perception. Cognition, 116, 437443.
Athanasopoulos, P., & Kasai, C. (2008). Language and thought in bilinguals: The case of grammatical number and nonverbal classification preferences. Applied Psycholinguistics, 29, 105123.
Boroditsky, L. (2001). Does language shape thought? Mandarin and English speakers’ conceptions of time. Cognitive Psychology, 43, 122.
Boroditsky, L., Fuhrman, O., & McCormick, K. (2011). Do English and Mandarin speakers think about time differently? Cognition, 118, 123129.
Brown, R., & Lenneberg, E. H. (1954). A study of language and cognition. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 49, 454462.
Buell, L. C. (2005). Issues in Zulu verbal morphosyntax. Los Angeles, CA: ProQuest.
Bylund, E. (2009). Effects of age of L2 acquisition on L1 event conceptualization patterns. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12, 305322.
Bylund, E., Abrahamsson, N., & Hyltenstam, K. (2012). Does first language maintenance hamper nativelikeness in a second language? Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 34, 215241.
Bylund, E., Athanasopoulos, P., & Oostendorp, M. (2013). Motion event cognition and grammatical aspect: Evidence from Afrikaans. Linguistics, 51, 929955.
Bylund, E., & Jarvis, S. (2011). L2 effects on L1 event conceptualization. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 4759.
Census (2012). Census in brief. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York: Routledge.
Comrie, B. (1976). Aspect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cook, V., & Bassetti, B. (eds.) (2011). Language and bilingual cognition. New York: Psychology Press.
Cook, V., Bassetti, B., Kasai, C., Sasaki, M., & Takahashi, J. A. (2006). Do bilinguals have different concepts? The case of shape and material in Japanese L2 users of English. International Journal of Bilingualism, 10, 137152.
Daller, M. H., Treffers-Daller, J., & Furman, R. (2011). Transfer of conceptualization patterns in bilinguals: The construal of motion events in Turkish and German. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 95119.
Davidoff, J., Davies, I., & Roberson, D. (1999). Colour categories in a stone-age tribe. Nature, 398, 203204.
Doke, C. M., & Mofokeng, S. M. (1985). Textbook of southern Sotho grammar. Cape Town: Maskew Miller Longman.
Du Plessis, J. A. (1978). IsiXhosa. Goodwood: Oudiovista.
Field, A. (2007). Discovering statistics using SPSS. London: Sage.
Flecken, M. (2011). Event conceptualization by early Dutch–German bilinguals: Insights from linguistic and eye-tracking data. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 6177.
Forbes, J. N., Poulin-Dubois, D., Rivero, M., & Sera, M. (2008). Grammatical gender affects bilinguals’ conceptual gender: Implications for linguistic relativity and decision making. The Open Applied Linguistics Journal, 1, 6876.
Guthrie, M. (1948). The classification of the Bantu languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Han, Z., & Cadierno, T. (eds.). (2010). Linguistic relativity in SLA: Thinking for speaking. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Haun, D., Rapold, C., Janzen, G., & Levinson, S. (2011). Plasticity of human spatial cognition: Spatial language and cognition covary across cultures. Cognition, 119, 7080.
Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 6183
Hobson, C. (1999). Morphological development in the interlanguage of English learners of Xhosa. Ph.D. dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.
Imai, M., & Gentner, D. (1997). A cross-linguistic study of early word meaning: Universal ontology and linguistic influence. Cognition, 62, 169200.
January, D., & Kako, E. (2007). Re-evaluating evidence for linguistic relativity: Reply to Boroditsky (2001). Cognition, 104, 417426.
Jarvis, S. (2011). Crosslinguistic influence in bilinguals’ concepts and conceptualizations. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 18.
Jarvis, S., & Pavlenko, A. (2008). Crosslinguistic influence in language and cognition. New York: Routledge.
Kurinski, E., & Sera, M. D. (2011). Does learning Spanish grammatical gender change English-speaking adults’ categorization of inanimate objects? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 203220.
Langacker, R. W. (2008). Cognitive Grammar: An introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lenneberg, E. H. (1967). Biological foundations of language. New York: Wiley.
Lucy, J. A. (1992). Grammatical categories and cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lucy, J. A. (1997). Linguistic relativity. Annual Review of Anthropology, 26, 291312.
MacLaren, J. (1936). A Xhosa grammar. Cape Town: Longmans.
Marian, V., Blumenfeld, H. K., & Kaushanskaya, M. (2007). The Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q): Assessing language profiles in bilinguals and multilinguals. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50, 940967.
Menard, S. (2001). Applied logistic regression analysis. London: Sage.
Mesthrie, R. (2002). Language in South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Meyers, L. S., Gamst, G., & Guarino, A. J. (2006). Applied multivariate research: Design and interpretation. London: Sage.
Miles, L. K., Tan, L., Noble, G. D., Lumsden, J., & Macrae, C. N. (2011). Can a mind have two time lines? Exploring space–time mapping in Mandarin and English speakers. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 598604.
Motsei, A. (2010). The expression of aspect in Sesotho. Ph.D. dissertation, Stellenbosch University.
Muñoz, C. (2006). Age and the rate of foreign language learning. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Ncoko, S. O. S., Osman, R., & Cockcroft, K. (2000). Codeswitching among multilingual learners in primary schools in South Africa: An exploratory study. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 3, 225241.
Nichols, P. (2012). A morpho-semantic analysis of aspectuality in siSwati: A cognitive approach to the analysis of the alterative, persistive and inceptive aspects in siSwati. London: Lambert Academic Publishing.
Nurse, D. (2008). Tense and aspect in Bantu. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Oostendorp, M. (2012). New perspectives on cross-linguistic influence: Language and cognition. Language Teaching, 45, 389398. [A comparative book review.]
Papafragou, A., & Selimis, S. (2010). Event categorisation and language: A cross-linguistic study of motion. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25, 224260.
Pavlenko, A. (1999). New approaches to concepts in bilingual memory. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 2, 209230.
Pavlenko, A. (2005). Bilingualism and thought. In Kroll, J. F. & de Groot, A. M. B. (eds.), Handbook of bilingualism: Psycholinguistic approaches, pp. 433453. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pavlenko, A. (2011a). Introduction. In Pavlenko (ed.), pp. 1–28.
Pavlenko, A. (ed.) (2011b). Thinking and speaking in two languages. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Setati, M. (2005). Teaching mathematics in a primary multilingual classroom. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 36, 447466.
Taljaard, P. C., Khumalo, J. N., & Bosch, S. E. (1991). Handbook of Siswati. Cape Town: J. L. van Schaik.
Von Stutterheim, C., Andermann, M., Carroll, M., Flecken, M., & Schmiedtová, B. (2012). How grammaticized concepts shape event conceptualization in language production: Insights from linguistic analysis, eye tracking data, and memory performance. Linguistics, 50, 833867.
Whorf, B. L. (1956). Language, thought, and reality: Selected writings (edited by J. B. Carroll). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Yeni-Komshian, G. H., Flege, J. E., & Liu, S. (2000). Pronunciation proficiency in the first and second languages of Korean–English bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 3, 131149.
Ziervogel, D., & Mabuza, E. (1976). A grammar of the Swati language. Cape Town: Van Schaik.

Keywords

Language and thought in a multilingual context: The case of isiXhosa*

  • EMANUEL BYLUND (a1) and PANOS ATHANASOPOULOS (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed