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Chapter One - Theories and Methods in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Bilingualism

An Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2023

John W. Schwieter
Affiliation:
Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario
Julia Festman
Affiliation:
University College of Teacher Education Tyrol
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Summary

In this chapter, we consider different definitions of bilingualism, underscoring the reality that there are various aspects which should be taken into account when investigating bilingualism, particularly when designing studies and choosing participants. Bilingualism is a complex construct and should be viewed on a continuum. Crucially, many key details about bilinguals’ backgrounds need to be reported in studies to make results comparable and clearly linkable to the specific study sample. Relative proficiency level seems to be the most influential factor, but it is by no means the only factor relevant for studying bilingualism. Rather, individual differences and their variability, dynamically related dimensions and their interaction over time, speech environment and their changes, language use habits, socioeconomic background, and so on have been reported to influence language processing and even brain function to some extent.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Further Reading

De Groot, A., & Hagoort, P. (Eds.). (2018). Research methods in psycholinguistics and the neurobiology of language: A practical guide. Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
Field, A., & Hole, G. (2003). How to design and report experiments. SAGE.Google Scholar
Li, W., & Moyer, M. (2008). The Blackwell guide to research methods in bilingualism and multilingualism. Blackwell.Google Scholar
Pavlenko, A. (2014). The bilingual mind: And what it tells us about language and thought. Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schwieter, J. W. (Ed.). (2019). The handbook of the neuroscience of multilingualism. Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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