Bilingualism and L2-Acquisition

Research carried out by this group places focus on aspects of how people acquire a second language (L2) and how language is represented and processed in people who speak two or more languages.

Gender processing and representation in the mental lexicon of bilinguals

Grammatical gender processing in an L2 has caused much debate in the latest research. While researchers mostly agree that gender markers in pre-position are used by native speakers in real-time comprehension as predictive cues for the following noun, there is still no agreement on whether L2 speakers process gender information. Another issue concerns how gender is represented in the L2 mental lexicon.

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Referential coherence in first and second language learners

In this research, it was investigated how monolingual and bilingual learners of German between the age of 5 and 10 resolve anaphoric pronouns. A visual world paradigm was employed to measure what parts of a visual stimulus participants attend to while presented with short spoken texts, in which a sentence that starts with a gender encoding anaphoric pronoun follows a sentence in which two referents are mentioned.

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Phonological co-activation in Portugese-German bilinguals

Previous studies on spoken language processing in late bilinguals (e.g. Spivey und Marian 1999; Canseco­ Gonzalez et al. 2010) revealed contradictory findings regarding the activation of the irrelevant L1 during L2 listening. Using the visual world paradigm we show evidence for non­selective access in Portuguese late learners of German during spoken language processing.

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Translanguaging and the Bilingual Brain

Investigating how the reading comprehension of translingual texts impacts cognitive processes with a special focus on working memory.

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