Research

CURRENT & RECENT PROJECTS
 

THE BILINGUAL MENTAL LEXICON

In this research project we are investigating the lexical organization of English-French bilinguals and L2 learners and how lexical organization in these groups compares to that of monolinguals. A critical component of this research is that it also examines the effect of age of acquisition (AoA) of the L2. AoA will not only be separated into early vs. late learners as in much of the literature in the field, but will also include a large-scale analysis into the precise effects of becoming bilingual at any time along a continuum between birth and adulthood.

PRESENTATIONS & POSTERS

Sabourin, L., Vinerte, S., Leclerc, J-C., Burkholder, M., and Brien, C. (2015) Language Processing in Bilinguals: Evidence from Lexical Organization and Cognitive Control. Talk given at EUROSLA 25, Aix-en-Provence, France.

Sabourin, L., Leclerc, J-C., Burkholder, M., and Brien, C. (2014) Bilingual lexical organization: Is there a sensitive period? Talk given at Canadian Linguistics Association, Brock University, Canada.

Sabourin, L., Brien, C., & Burkholder, M. (2013) The Bilingual Mental Lexicon: A Behavioural and ERP Investigation. Talk given at Workshop on NeuroBilingualism, Groningen, The Netherlands

Sabourin, L., Brien, C., & Burkholder, M. (2013) The effect of age of L2 acquisition on the organization of the bilingual lexicon: Evidence from masked priming. Talk given at 11th International Symposium of Psycholinguistics, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

- Natalie Ho (Undergraduate):  “Investigating the Organization of the Mental Lexicon in Bilinguals”

Leclerc, J-C., Sabourin, L., Burkholder, M., and Brien, C. (2016) Naturalistic exposure and late second language learning: An ERP investigation. Poster presented at The Mental Lexicon, 10th International Conference, Ottawa, Ontario.

Burkholder, M., Sabourin, L., Brien, C., & Kutlu, A. (2013) Age of acquisition and the bilingual lexicon: Behavioural and neurophysiological approaches. Poster presented at International Conference on Multilingualism: Linguistic Challenges and Neurocognitive Mechanisms, Montreal, Canada.

Burkholder, M., Brien, C., & Sabourin, L. (2011) The bilingual mental lexicon: The relationship between L2 proficiency and lexical processing. Workshop on Bilingualism, Aix-en-Provence, France.

Sabourin, L. & Brien, C. (2010) The Bilingual Mental Lexicon: Masked Priming Evidence for Shared Lexicons. Poster presented at BCBL Workshop on Neurobilingualism, Donostia-San Sebastien, Spain.

Brien, C., LaMontagne, J., Sagae, S., and Sabourin, L. (2010) Lexical Processing in Bilinguals: The Case of Priming Translation Equivalents. Cognitive Neuroscience Society Symposium, Montreal, Canada

Sabourin, L., Brien, C., LaMontagne, J., Sagae, S. (2009) Lexical Processing in Bilinguals: The Case of Priming Translation Equivalents. EUROSLA 19, the 19th Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association, UC Cork, Republic of Ireland.

THE LANGUAGE BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE IN L2 RESEARCH

information forthcoming

PRESENTATIONS & POSTERS

Sabourin, L., Leclerc, J-C., Lapierre, M., Burkholder, M., and Brien, C. (2016) The Language Background Questionnaire in L2 Research: Teasing Apart the Variables. Talk given at CLA Congress 2016, Calgary, Alberta

Lapierre,M., Sabourin, L., Burkholder, M., Brien, C., & Leclerc, J-C. (2015) The Language Background Questionnaire in the Canadian Context. Poster presented at International Symposium on Bilingualism 10, Rutgers University.

 

THE MULTILINGUAL ADVANTAGE TO SPEECH PROCESSING

information forthcoming

 

AMBIGUITY RESOLUTION

How do we process a single word that has more than one meaning? What cues of information best aid the disambiguation of words such as “bug”? Someone with personal experience with a pesky sibling might initially access the verb meaning, whereas a spy might access the noun “device” meaning and an entomologist might access the noun “insect”. However, would placing that ambiguous word into context constrain the access to only one meaning? If so, can different effects be found for different types of context, such as syntactic vs. semantic? Perhaps most intriguingly, we aim to investigate all of these factors combined within the bilingual mind and brain. Initial results show that having a second language increases sensitivity to syntactic surfaces cues and frequency effects for a faster disambiguation in the L1, even when compared to monolingual native speakers.

PRESENTATIONS & POSTERS

Brien, C. (2013) Neuro-imaging Evidence of L2 Effects on L1 Ambiguity Resolution. Talk given at Psycholinguistic Shorts Conference, University of Ottawa.

Brien, C., and Sabourin, L. (2011) L2 Effects on L1 Ambiguity Resolution. Talk given at EUROSLA 21, the 21st Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association at Stockholm, Sweden.

Brien, C., & Sabourin, L. (2009) The Effects of Local Syntactic Constraints on Lexical Access in Bilinguals by Age of Acquisition. Talk given at Psycholinguistic Shorts Conference, University of Ottawa.

Brien, C. (2008) The Effects of Local Syntactic Constraints on Lexical Access in Early Bilingual Speakers. Talk given at Psycholinguistic Shorts Conference, University of Ottawa.

Brien, C., and Sabourin, L. (2014) Age of L2 acquisition increases a speaker’s metalinguistic awareness in L1 processing more than proficiency. Canadian Linguistics Association, Brock University, Canada.

Brien, C., & Sabourin, L. (2013) Neurophysiological evidence of L2 influence on L1 ambiguity resolution. 11th International Symposium of Psycholinguistics, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Brien, C. & Sabourin, L. (2010) The Effects of Age of L2 Acquisition on Ambiguity Resolution. BCBL Workshop on Neurobilingualism, Donostia-San Sebastien, Spain.

Brien, C., & Sabourin, L. (2010) The Effects of Local Syntactic Constraints on Lexical Access in Bilinguals by Age of Acquisition. Poster accepted to EUROSLA 20, the 20th Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association, Universita Modena, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Brien, C., & Sabourin, L. (2009) The Effects of Local Syntactic Constraints on Lexical Access in Bilinguals by Age of Acquisition. EUROSLA 19, Cork, Republic of Ireland.

Brien, C., & Sabourin, L. (2009) The Effects of Local Syntactic Constraints on Lexical Access in Early Bilingual Speakers. CUNY 2009 Conference on Human Sentence Processing, UC Davis, California, USA.

 

LANGUAGE ATTRITION

…information forthcoming

 

COGNITIVE CONTROL

The earlier, the better? Bilingual cognitive control and age of acquisition

‘The evidence for bilingual cognitive control advantages in recent literature has been mixed: while some studies find advantages, others report an absence of any effects. We do not interpret this as a lack of bilingual advantage; instead, we examine some factors that may contribute to these mixed findings. In this study, we examine AoA effects, operationalized as the Age of L2 Immersion, and focus on Simultaneous and Early Sequential bilinguals- two groups that have traditionally been placed in a single, “early bilingual” category. Using an ANT task, we find differences between the groups, and a distinct Orienting advantage for Early Sequential bilinguals. We hypothesize that this may be due to the different manner of acquisition for both languages and therefore development of the language systems. We argue for the need to differentiate between these two groups in current and future bilingual studies.

“Effects of Bilingualism on Cognitive Control in Stroop and ANT Tasks”
Previous research has suggested cognitive control advantages for bilinguals in not only linguistic, but also domain-general tasks; however, this advantage is not always apparent in the young adult population. The current research examines effects of bilingualism on Stroop and ANT cognitive control tasks in young adults. Preliminary results indicate no significant group differences for the ANT task, but balanced, highly-proficient bilinguals show decreased Stroop interference effects in their native or dominant language.
Sabourin, L., Brien, C., Vinerte, S., Burkholder, M., & Leclerc, J-C. (2016). Language Processing in Bilinguals: Evidence from Lexical Organization and Cognitive Control. Liszka, S. A., Leclercq, P., Tellier, M. & Véronique, D. (Eds.) EuroSLA Yearbook 16. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

POSTERS & PRESENTATIONS

Vinerte, S. & Sabourin, L. (September 2014). The earlier, the better? Bilingual cognitive control and age of acquisition. Poster presented at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing conference, Edinburgh, U.K.

Vinerte, S., & Sabourin, L. (May 2013). Effects of bilingualism on cognitive control in Stroop and ANT tasks. Poster presented at the International Workshop on Bilingualism and Cognitive Control, Krakow, Poland. Poster won 3rd place in the poster contest.