language and mind

June 10, 2012

Apples grow on noses: two languages – two minds?

Filed under: language, language processing, language use, psycholinguistics — teresapelka @ 12:18 pm

The New Scientist of May 5th, 2012 provides an article by Catherine de Lange, ‘Mon espirit paratage – My two minds’.

Speaking a second language can change everything from problem-solving skills to personality. It is almost as if you are two people, the author quotes an experiment to compare the cognitive progression in monolingual and bilingual children.

Both monolinguals and bilinguals could see the mistake in phrases such as ‘apples growed on trees’, but differences arose when they considered nonsensical sentences such as ‘apples grow on noses’. The monolinguals, flummoxed by the silliness of the phrase, incorrectly reported an error, whereas the bilinguals gave the right answer, says Ms. de Lange.

Monolingual as well as bilingual children can learn Language mapping.

Dynamic mapping

Well, monolingual kids usually get fairy tales. If you tell a monolingual kid that a long, long time ago, there was a kingdom where apples grew on noses, the child gets it easy. Not only bilingual kids operate abstract notions, and no kids have their vocabularies for lexicons of empty items.

For example, a kid speaking English and French will not have pain for bread, whatever to say about his or her syntax. More, any attempts at negotiation could look only sick. Seriously sick. Mal a l’oreille.

Children naturally use invented, virtual words. See the Gumption set.

River of time

To appreciate children’s syntactic abilities, we need to use empty lexical items. For example, Phimos bimoes, right or wrong? Kids knowing the singular, Phimo, and the infinitive, to bimo, would not be likely to show differences, monolingual or bilingual. Bilingualism is not a dissociative disorder.

Feel welcome to visit my grammar blog, travelingrammar.com. My project uses virtual lexical items to encourage syntactic progression. Virtual items do not deny sense: Form can’t be empty. You bet. A todas luces.

Important: the project is not an experiment.

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