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.


Grammatical encoding in German as a second language

The aim of the project is to investigate the similarities and dissimilarities of grammatical encoding in L1 and L2 speakers of German. Conceptual, lexical and structural factors will be tested as to whether they affect the encoding of argument structure alternations, word order variants, noun phrases and subject-verb agreement. The potential effects of linguistic structures in the L1 as well as those of L2 proficiency on grammatical encoding in the L2 will be taken into account.


Grammatical gender sensitivity and biological gender errors in processing German personal and possessive pronouns

The project aims to shed light on the connection between grammatical gender sensitivity and biological gender errors in the processing of German personal and possessive pronouns through psycholinguistic methods and to gain psycholinguistic insights into the process of sex-based pronominalization.


Motion-Event conceptualization and encoding by Chinese-German bilingual children

The focus of this project is motion event encoding in early bilingual language acquisition.


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.


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.


Translanguaging and the Bilingual Brain

Investigating whether translingual reading comprehension has a detrimental effect on cognition.


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