Paola E. Dussias

Paola E. Dussias
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State ·  Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese (SIP)

About

82
Publications
28,955
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2,837
Citations
Citations since 2016
44 Research Items
2101 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400

Publications

Publications (82)
Article
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Prominent sociolinguistic theories of language mixing have posited that single-word insertions of one language into the other are the result of a distinct process than multi-word alternations between two languages given that the former overwhelmingly surface morphosyntactically integrated into the surrounding language. To date, this distinction has...
Article
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What we say generally follows distributional regularities, such as learning to avoid "the asleep dog" because we hear "the dog that's asleep" in its place. However, not everyone follows such regularities. We report data on English monolinguals and Spanish-English bilinguals to examine how working memory mediates variation in a-adjective usage (asle...
Article
Aims and Objectives The cognate facilitation effect (CFE) is a robust effect in language production and visual word comprehension, but evidence for CFE during auditory comprehension is still scarce. This study aimed to explore the CFE during auditory comprehension of a second language (L2) while manipulating proficiency in the L2 and cognate type....
Article
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Language processing is cognitively demanding, requiring attentional resources to efficiently select and extract linguistic information as utterances unfold. Previous research has associated changes in pupil size with increased attentional effort. However, it is unknown whether the behavioral ecology of speakers may differentially affect engagement...
Article
In two experiments, we examine how proficient second language speakers integrate verb bias and plausibility information during online sentence comprehension. Spanish–English speakers and native English speakers read sentences in English in which a post-verbal noun phrase (NP) could be interpreted as a direct object or a sentential subject. To exami...
Article
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The transfer of words from one language to another is ubiquitous in many of the world’s languages. While loanwords have a rich literature in the fields of historical linguistics, language contact, and sociolinguistics, little work has been done examining how loanwords are processed by bilinguals with knowledge of both the source and recipient langu...
Article
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Most studies on lexical priming have examined single words presented in isolation, despite language users rarely encountering words in such cases. The present study builds upon this by examining both within-language identity priming and across-language translation priming in sentential contexts. Highly proficient Spanish–English bilinguals read sen...
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Traditionally, it has been claimed that the non-canonical word order of passives makes them inherently more difficult to comprehend than their canonical active counterparts both in the first (L1) and second language (L2). However, growing evidence suggests that non-canonical word orders are not inherently more difficult to process than canonical co...
Article
In this study we examined the neural control mechanisms that are at play when habitual code-switchers read code-switches embedded in a sentence context. The goal was also to understand if and to what extent the putative control network that is engaged during the comprehension of code-switched sentences is modulated by the linguistic regularity of t...
Article
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Studies of Spanish grammatical gender have shown that native speakers exploit gender cues in determiners to facilitate speech processing and are sensitive to gender mismatches. However, past research has not considered attested distributional asymmetries between masculine and feminine gender, collapsing performance on trials with one or the other g...
Article
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Prior studies using the event-related potential (ERP) technique show that integrating sentential code-switches during online processing leads to a broadly distributed late positivity component (LPC), while processing semantically unexpected continuations instead leads to the emergence of an N400 effect. While the N400 is generally assumed to index...
Article
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The ability to engage in fluent codeswitching is a hallmark of the flexibility and creativity of bilingual language use. Recent discoveries have changed the way we think about codeswitching and its implications for language processing and language control. One is that codeswitching is not haphazard, but subject to unique linguistic and cognitive co...
Article
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Studies on second language (L2) anaphora resolution have mainly focused on learners of null-subject languages, demonstrating that L2 speakers show residual indeterminacy in the L2 referential choice, even at the highest levels of proficiency. On the other hand, studies on anaphora resolution in L2 learners of non-null-subject languages have shown c...
Preprint
Prior studies using the event-related potential (ERP) technique show that integrating sentential code-switches in online processing lead to a broadly distributed late positivity component while processing semantically unexpected continuations instead lead to the emergence of an N400 effect. While the N400 is generally assumed to index lexico-semant...
Article
Full-text available
Learning conventional verb-noun combinations in a second language is known to be highly problematic when word choices differ from those in the native language. Grounded on recent proposals of desirable difficulties in vocabulary learning (Bjork & Kroll, 2015), we tested Spanish learners of English on a new paradigm that aimed to induce interference...
Article
Proficient bilinguals use two languages actively, but the contexts in which they do so may differ dramatically. The present study asked what consequences the contexts of language use hold for the way in which cognitive resources modulate language abilities. Three groups of speakers were compared, all of whom were highly proficient Spanish-English b...
Chapter
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A central question in cognitive neuroscience concerns how individuals' cognitive abilities are shaped by learning from experience. This paper presents a critical overview of the discoveries that have emerged from the study of bilingualism, and the implications that they hold for language, cognition, and the brain. In particular, we review the range...
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Previous studies have identified the Event Related Potential (ERP) components of conflict detection and resolution mechanisms in tasks requiring lexical selection at the individual word level. We investigated the brain potentials associated with these mechanisms in a lexical selection task based on multiword units made up of verb-noun combinations...
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In two experiments, we examine English monolinguals' and Spanish-English bilinguals' ability to predict an upcoming pronoun referent based on the Implicit Causality (IC) bias of the verb. In an eye-tracking experiment, the monolingual data show anticipation of the upcoming referent for NP1-bias verbs. For bilinguals, the same effect is found, showi...
Article
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Research on grammatical gender processing has generally assumed that grammatical gender can be treated as a uniform construct, resulting in a body of literature in which different gender classes are collapsed into single analysis. The present work reviews linguistic, psycholinguistic, and neurolinguistic research on grammatical gender from differen...
Chapter
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This chapter discusses recent findings that demonstrate how variability in the linguistic experiences of bilingual speakers and in the ability of bilingual speakers to learn from these experiences, might impact bilingual language processing. It shows that linguistic experience and the interactional contexts in which bilinguals find themselves serve...
Chapter
The main goal of monolingual models of sentence processing is to explain how the syntactic processor (or parser) assigns structure to an incoming string of words. The theoretical divide in the field has been about whether the architecture and mechanisms of the human sentence processor are modular—and computations are carried out serially—or whether...
Article
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In two eye tracking experiments, we investigate how adult child-L2 speakers of English resolve prepositional phrase (PP) attachment ambiguity in their dominant language (English), and whether they use prosodic information to aid in the process of garden-path recovery. The findings showed an increased processing cost associated with the revision of...
Article
Bilingualism is a complex life experience. Second language (L2) learning and bilingualism take place in many different contexts. To develop a comprehensive account of dual-language experience requires research that examines individuals who are learning and using two languages in both the first language (L1) and second language (L2) environments. In...
Article
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Variation in the ways by which an individual processes codeswitched language may reveal fundamental dynamics of the language system that are otherwise obscured under unilingual conditions. Despite this, an important aspect that has been largely neglected in the field is the role of the bilingual experience in language processing. Drawing on corpus-...
Article
Recent findings indicate that native speakers (L1) use grammatical gender marking on articles to facilitate the processing of upcoming nouns (e.g., Lew-Williams & Fernald, 2007; Dussias, Valdés Kroff, Guzzardo Tamargo, & Gerfen, 2013). Conversely, adult second language (L2) learners for whom grammatical gender is absent in their first language appe...
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Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions The goal of this study is to determine if the way in which codemixed sentences are presented during experimental lab sessions affects the way they are processed, and how experimental design approximates (or not) patterns of language use in bilingual populations. Design/methodology/approach An eye-trac...
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Experience-based approaches to language hold that individuals become sensitive to distributed emergent phenomena in their linguistic experience. The purpose of this paper is to bring together experience-based perspectives from the domains of cognitive psychology and linguistics. First, we present an overview of the cognitive processes that underpin...
Article
We report three experiments on two groups of Spanish–English bilinguals who differed in codeswitching experience (codeswitchers and non-codeswitchers) to examine how different production choices predict comprehension difficulty. Experiment 1 examined the processing of gender congruent and gender incon-gruent determiner-noun switches in sentential c...
Article
In the past two decades, new research on multilingualism has changed our understanding of the consequences of learning and using two or more languages for cognition, for the brain, and for success and well-being across the entire lifespan. Far from the stereotype that exposure to multiple languages in infancy complicates language and cognitive deve...
Article
Researchers who study code-switching using lab-based approaches face a series of methodological challenges; these include, but are not limited to, using adequate techniques and tasks that allow for processing that reflects real-language usage and selecting stimuli that reflect the participants’ code-switching community norms. We present two illustr...
Article
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Eye fixation measures were used to examine English relative clause processing by adult ASL–English bilingual deaf readers. Participants processed subject relative clauses faster than object relative clauses, but expected animacy cues eliminated processing difficulty in object relative clauses. This brings into question previous claims that deaf rea...
Article
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Memory is an integral part of language processing. Given this, a better understanding of how people learn, represent and process language requires considerations of the principles of memory that support language comprehension. Cunnings’ paper (Cunnings, 2016) does just this. The core of his proposal is that second language (L2) processing that is n...
Article
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One central question in research on spoken language communication concerns how speakers decide how explicit to make a referential expression. In the present paper, we address the debate between a discourse-based approach and a listener-based approach to the choice of referring expressions by testing second language (L2) learners of English on the p...
Article
We investigate the ‘gender-congruency’ effect during a spoken-word recognition task using the visual world paradigm. Eye movements of Italian-Spanish bilinguals and Spanish monolinguals were monitored while they viewed a pair of objects on a computer screen. Participants listened to instructions in Spanish (encuentra la bufanda / ‘find the scarf’)...
Article
Using code-switching as a tool to illustrate how language experience modulates comprehension, the visual world paradigm was employed to examine the extent to which gender-marked Spanish determiners facilitate upcoming target nouns in a group of Spanish-English bilingual code-switchers. The first experiment tested target Spanish nouns embedded in a...
Article
Full-text available
We employ code-switching (the alternation of two languages in bilingual communication) to test the hypothesis, derived from experience-based models of processing (e.g., Boland, Tanenhaus, Carlson, & Garnsey, 1989; Gennari & MacDonald, 2009), that bilinguals are sensitive to the combinatorial distributional patterns derived from production and that...
Article
We exploit the unique phonetic properties of bilingual speech to ask how processes occurring during planning affect speech articulation, and whether listeners can use the phonetic modulations that occur in anticipation of a codeswitch to help restrict their lexical search to the appropriate language. An analysis of spontaneous bilingual codeswitchi...
Article
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Native speakers of English are sensitive to the likelihood that a verb will appear in a specific subcategorization frame, known as verb bias. Readers rely on verb bias to help them resolve temporary ambiguity in sentence comprehension. We investigate whether deaf sign-print bilinguals who have acquired English syntactic knowledge primarily through...
Article
In Spanish locative constructions, a different form of the copula is selected in relation to the semantic properties of the grammatical subject: sentences that locate objects require estar while those that locate events require ser (both translated in English as 'to be'). In an ERP study, we examined whether second language (L2) speakers of Spanish...
Article
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The use of two or more languages is common in most of the world. Yet, until recently, bilingualism was considered to be a complicating factor for language processing, cognition, and the brain. The past 20 years have witnessed an upsurge of research on bilingualism to examine language acquisition and processing, their cognitive and neural bases, and...
Chapter
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Numerous studies have suggested that under certain circumstances (e.g., immersion in the second language environment) the production of the native language (L1) in adult second language learners can be influenced by features of the second language (L2) (Flege, 1987; Flege & Eefting, 1987; Pavlenko, 2000; Pavlenko & Jarvis, 2002; Porte, 2003). Compa...
Article
In a recent study, Lew-Williams and Fernald (2007) showed that native Spanish speakers use grammatical gender information encoded in Spanish articles to facilitate the processing of upcoming nouns. In this article, we report the results of a study investigating whether grammatical gender facilitates noun recognition during second language (L2) proc...
Article
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We report two experiments that investigate the effects of sentence context on bilingual lexical access in Spanish and English. Highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals read sentences in Spanish and English that included a marked word to be named. The word was either a cognate with similar orthography and/or phonology in the two languages, or a...
Article
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This study uses eye-tracking to examine the processing of case-marking information in ambiguous subject- and object-first wh-questions in German. The position of the lexical verb was also manipulated via verb tense to investigate whether verb location influences how intermediate L2 learners process L2 sentences. Results show that intermediate L2 Ge...
Article
Psycholinguistics has traditionally focused on language processing in monolingual speakers. In the past two decades, there has been a dramatic increase of research on bilingual speakers, recognizing that bilingualism is not an unusual or problematic circumstance but one that characterizes more language speakers in the world than monolingualism. Mos...
Article
Much work has examined whether deaf and hearing individuals’ reading strategies are qualitatively different, under the assumption that such differences might account for discrepancies in levels of reading achievement (cf., Allen 1986; Gallaudet Research Institute 2005; Holt 1994; Karchmer and Mitchell 2003; Traxler 2000; Wauters et al. 2006). While...
Article
Full-text available
Verb bias, or the tendency of a verb to appear with a certain type of complement, has been employed in psycholinguistic literature as a tool to test competing models of sentence processing. To date, the vast majority of sentence processing research involving verb bias has been conducted almost exclusively with monolingual speakers, and predominantl...
Article
This study utilizes a moving window technique to investigate how individual cognitive resources (operationalized in terms of reading span scores) might modulate the extent to which native English speakers and Chinese second language (L2) learners of English utilize plausibility information to recover from an initial misparse in the processing of lo...
Article
Full-text available
Subject-verb agreement is a computation that is often difficult to execute perfectly in the first language (L1) and even more difficult to produce skillfully in a second language (L2). In this study, we examined the way in which bilingual speakers complete sentence fragments in a manner that reflects access to both grammatical and conceptual number...
Article
When hearing or reading words and sentences in a second language (L2), we face many uncertainties about how the people and objects referred to are connected to one another. So what do we do under these conditions of uncertainty? Because relatively proficient L2 speakers have access to the grammar and lexicon of each language when comprehending word...
Article
Reviews the book, The Cambridge handbook of linguistic code-switching edited by Barbara E. Bullock and Almeida Jacqueline Toribio (see record 2009-06438-000 ). A good indicator that an emerging area of study is gaining importance in the research community is the publication of a handbook that unites leading scholars in that area to provide a broad...
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IntroductionWordsSoundsSentencesSummaryFurther reading and resources
Article
Using a self-paced reading task, the present study investigates how highly proficient second language (L2) speakers of German with English as their native language process unambiguous wh-subject-extractions and wh-object-extractions in German. Previous monolingual research has shown that English and German exhibit different processing preferences f...
Chapter
This chapter reviews recent developments on the comprehension of words and sentences in two languages, which show that the lexicon and grammar have more in common than previously understood. It focuses primarily on comprehension in relatively proficient bilinguals, and reports the results of studies on second language (L2) learners where those resu...
Article
Using a self-paced moving window reading paradigm, we examine the degree to which structural commitments made while 60 Spanish-English L2 speakers read syntactically ambiguous sentences in their second language (L2) are constrained by the verb's lexical entry about its preferred structural environment (i.e., subcategorization bias). The ambiguity u...
Article
Full-text available
An eye tracking experiment examined how exposure to a second language (L2) influences sentence parsing in the first language. Forty-four monolingual Spanish speakers, 24 proficient SpanishEnglish bilinguals with extensive L2 immersion experience read temporarily ambiguous constructions. The ambiguity concerned whether a relative clause (RC) that ap...
Article
Past research suggests that parsing processes in a bilingual's first language (L1) can undergo changes as a function of exposure to a second language (L2). Evidence for this claim comes from studies that have examined how Spanish-English bilinguals resolve temporarily ambiguous sentences containing a complex noun phrase followed by a relative claus...
Article
This study investigates whether proficient second language (L2) speakers of Spanish and English use the same parsing strategies as monolinguals when reading temporarily ambiguous sentences containing a complex noun phrase followed by a relative clause, such as Peter fell in love with the daughter of the psychologist who studied in California . Rese...
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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This article presents experimental data to investigate the nature of the distributional differences reported in the Spanish-English code-switching literature for AUXILIARY + PARTICIPLE phrases. Naturalistic data show that switches between the Spanish auxiliary haber ('have') and an English participle are largely non-existent. However, switches invo...
Article
The functional element effect (Muysken, 1997) refers to the systematic favoritism of certain grammatical categories to appear in one language versus the other during codeswitched speech. The current paper explores whether this effect, often observed in production, is replicated in on-line comprehension results. As a preliminary test, we compared th...
Article
This book is a first attempt to bring together a collection of state-of-the-art studies of various lines of research on language processing in Spanish, ranging from speech perception to sentence production.
Article
The present study examines the linguistic consequences of computer-mediated communication between foreign language (L2) learners of Spanish and native Spanish speakers.In particular, it investigates whether the benefits attributed to intercultural computer-mediated interactions are transferable to face-to-face communication by examining whether e-m...
Article
The Functional Head Consldnt (Rubin and Toribio, 1994) states that no code-switch is allowed between a functional head and its complement. This was tested in an experiment with SpaddEnglish code-switched sentences. Subjects in the experiments were native speakers of Spanish (N=21), who were proficient English speakers, and had learned English durin...
Article
After extended immersion in a second language (L2), some bilinguals become more proficient in the L2 than in the native language. This switch of language dominance can be observed under a variety of circumstances and at different points in the lifespan, e.g., following immigration or after growing up with a minority language and then entering schoo...

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