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Multilingual learning and cognitive restructuring: The role of audiovisual media exposure in Cantonese-English-Japanese multilinguals' motion event cognition

Wang, Yi ORCID: and Wei, Li 2022. Multilingual learning and cognitive restructuring: The role of audiovisual media exposure in Cantonese-English-Japanese multilinguals' motion event cognition. International Journal of Bilingualism 10.1177/13670069221085565

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Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions: Can learning additional languages affect what we perceive to be similar events? The current study explores the impact of learning a second language (L2) and a third language (L3) on how motion is categorized in functional Cantonese–English–Japanese multilinguals. Specifically, it examines the extent to which L1 speakers of Cantonese (equipollent-framed) with an L2-English (satellite-framed) and an L3-Japanese (verb-framed) restructure their lexicalization and conceptualization of voluntary motion through audiovisual media exposure to the target language. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 150 participants were recruited and divided into five groups: three groups of monolinguals in Cantonese, English, and Japanese as well as Cantonese–English bilinguals and Cantonese–English–Japanese multilinguals. Participants were given a linguistic encoding task and a non-linguistic similarity judgement task. Data and analysis: Mixed-effects modelling was used to compute participants’ encoding patterns and categorical preferences, as well as the correlation between audiovisual media exposure and the degree of cognitive restructuring. Findings/conclusions: Multilinguals’ L1-based verbalization and categorization showed reverse transfer from both L2 and L3. The degree of cognitive restructuring was modulated by audiovisual media exposure to TV watching in English and Japanese. Originality: This study extends the thinking-for-speaking hypothesis from bilingualism to multilingualism and explores the language–thought interface through reverse cross-linguistic influence. It focuses on how functional Cantonese–English–Japanese multilinguals with partially overlapping language systems encode and gauge similarity of voluntary motion in their L1, which is a rarely studied language combination. Significance/implications: Looking at the cognitive effects of additional language learning can shed light on the mechanism of cognitive restructuring in the thinking-for-speaking perspective, and inform the language learning question of how learners integrate both linguistic and non-linguistic experience to recalibrate their cognitive dispositions when given sufficient multimodal input.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1367-0069
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 May 2023
Date of Acceptance: 17 February 2022
Last Modified: 25 May 2023 09:54

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