Viorica Marian

Viorica Marian
Northwestern University | NU · Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

PhD

About

141
Publications
111,463
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Introduction
Before requesting a publication please check my website at https://bilingualism.northwestern.edu/publications/ for immediate free download. I study bilingualism, multilingualism, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, linguistic diversity, and the consequences of knowing more than one language. I am interested in language processing, language & memory, language learning, audio-visual integration, eye tracking, language & decision-making, language & thought, neural function in bi/multilinguals.

Publications

Publications (141)
Article
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According to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau, more than 66 million residents over the age of 5 in the United States speak a language other than English at home. Some bilinguals become dominant in the majority language that is spoken in the community as opposed to their native “heritage” language acquired at home. The objective of the current study was...
Article
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Despite the growing number of bicultural bilinguals in the world, the way in which multisensory emotions are evaluated by bilinguals who identify with two or more cultures remains unknown. In the present study, Chinese-English bicultural bilinguals from Singapore viewed Asian or Caucasian faces and heard Mandarin or English speech, and evaluated th...
Article
Kidd and Garcia report that language acquisition studies are skewed toward monolingual and English-speaking populations. This commentary considers Kidd and Garcia’s arguments in light of our research on mother-preschooler discourse and non-verbal communication in Thai monolingual and Thai-English bilingual children. We discuss lessons learned from...
Article
In the present study, we provide compelling evidence that viewing objects automatically activates linguistic labels and that this activation is not due to task-specific memory demands. In two experiments, eye-movements of English speakers were tracked while they identified a visual target among an array of four images, including a phonological comp...
Article
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To examine how differences in language experience and sociolinguistic context impact cognitive control, 146 Spanish-English bilingual participants were tested on a non-linguistic Stroop arrows task. Dimensions of language experience included a continuum of L2 proficiency, exposure, age of L2 acquisition, and English receptive vocabulary, along with...
Article
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Emotion perception frequently involves the integration of visual and auditory information. During multisensory emotion perception, the attention devoted to each modality can be measured by calculating the difference between trials in which the facial expression and speech input exhibit the same emotion (congruent) and trials in which the facial exp...
Article
How we remember the things that we see can be shaped by our prior experiences. Here, we examine how linguistic and sensory experiences interact to influence visual memory. Objects in a visual search that shared phonology (cat-cast) or semantics (dog-fox) with a target were later remembered better than unrelated items. Phonological overlap had a gre...
Article
Many languages use the same letters to represent different sounds (e.g., the letter P represents /p/ in English but /r/ in Russian). We report two experiments that examine how native language experience impacts the acquisition and processing of words with conflicting letter-to-sound mappings. Experiment 1 revealed that individual differences in non...
Article
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Every day, multilinguals around the world make important healthcare decisions while using a foreign language. The present study examined how the use of a native vs. non-native language shapes evaluations and decisions about preventative care. Bilinguals were randomly assigned to evaluate a series of medical scenarios in either their native or non-n...
Article
A bilingual’s language system is highly interactive. When hearing a second language (L2), bilinguals access native-language (L1) words that share sounds across languages. In the present study, we examine whether input modality and L2 proficiency moderate the extent to which bilinguals activate L1 phonotactic constraints (i.e., rules for combining s...
Article
Maternal scaffolding and four-year-old children’s linguistic skills were examined during toy play. Participants were 21 American-English monolingual and 21 Thai monolingual mother-child dyads. Results revealed cross-cultural differences in conversation styles between the two groups. American dyads adopted a high-elaborative style relative to Thai d...
Article
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How we perceive and learn about our environment is influenced by our prior experiences and existing representations of the world. Top-down cognitive processes, such as attention and expectations, can alter how we process sensory stimuli, both within a modality (e.g., effects of auditory experience on auditory perception), as well as across modaliti...
Article
Cross-cultural differences in book sharing practices of American and Thai mother-preschooler dyads were examined. Twenty-one Thai monolingual and 21 American-English monolingual mothers and their four-year-olds completed a book sharing task. Results revealed narrative style differences between the American and Thai groups: American mothers adopted...
Article
Aims and objectives: How health risks are communicated can have a substantial impact on medical judgments and choice. Here, we examine whether the language used to process health-related information systematically changes bilinguals' perceptions and preferences. Methodology: Chinese-English bilinguals were presented with ten medical scenarios in...
Article
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The present study examined the costs and benefits of native language similarity for non-native vocabulary learning. Because learning a second language (L2) is difficult, many learners start with easy words that look like their native language (L1) to jumpstart their vocabulary. However, this approach may not be the most effective strategy in the lo...
Article
While listening to non-native speech, second language users filter the auditory input through their native language. We examined how bilinguals perceived second language (L2 English) sound sequences that conflicted with native-language (L1 Spanish) constraints across three experiments with different task demands. We used the L1 Spanish phonotactic...
Article
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Over the course of our lifetimes, we accumulate extensive experience associating the things that we see with the words we have learned to describe them. As a result, adults engaged in a visual search task will often look at items with labels that share phonological features with the target object, demonstrating that language can become activated ev...
Article
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The study of bilingualism has a history that extends from deciphering ancient multilingual texts to mapping the structure of the multilingual brain. The language experiences of individual bilinguals are equally diverse and characterized by unique contexts of acquisition and use that can shape not only sociocultural identity but also cognitive and n...
Article
Language can influence cognition in domains as varied as temporal processing, spatial categorization, and color perception (Casasanto & Boroditsky, 2008; Levinson & Wilkins, 2006; Winawer et al., 2007). Here, we provide converging behavioral and neural evidence that bilingual experience can change semantic associations. In Experiment 1, Spanish- an...
Article
According to the US Department of State, a native English speaker can learn Spanish in about 600 h, but would take four times as long to learn Japanese. While it may be intuitive that similarity between a foreign language and a native tongue can influence the ease of acquisition, what is less obvious are the specific cognitive and emotional process...
Article
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One of the advantages of being bilingual is the ability to translate from one language to the other. From language learners to professional interpreters, many different types of bilinguals engage in translation in their daily lives. How successful they are, however, depends on a wide range of factors. The current study aimed to identify the cogniti...
Article
Cross-cultural differences in reminiscing styles between American and Thai mothers and their four-year-olds were examined. Twenty-one English monolingual and 21 Thai monolingual mother-child dyads participated in a Prompted Reminiscing task (Task 1). Children also completed a Child Personal Narrative task with the researcher (Task 2). Results from...
Article
Aims and Objectives Imagine you’re driving and you become so distracted by the radio that you miss your turn. Which is more likely to have caught your attention, a broadcast in your native tongue or one in your second language? The present study explores the effect of language proficiency on our ability to inhibit irrelevant phonological informatio...
Article
How does the mind process linguistic and non-linguistic sounds? The current study assessed the different ways that spoken words (e.g., "dog") and characteristic sounds (e.g., ) provide access to phonological information (e.g., word-form of "dog") and semantic information (e.g., knowledge that a dog is associated with a leash). Using an eye-tracking...
Chapter
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Bilingual Lexical Ambiguity Resolution - edited by Roberto R. Heredia January 2020
Article
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When learning a foreign language, words that are the hardest to learn are often the easiest to forget. Yet, there is also evidence that more challenging learning contexts can lead to greater long-term retention. Here, we investigate the effect of language difficulty on vocabulary retention by teaching participants novel words that varied in both im...
Article
When listening to spoken language, bilinguals access words in both of their languages at the same time; this co-activation is often driven by phonological input mapping to candidates in multiple languages during online comprehension. Here, we examined whether cross-linguistic activation could occur covertly when the input does not overtly cue words...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Cognition - Bilingual Lexical Ambiguity Resolution - edited by Roberto R. Heredia
Article
Vocabulary acquisition is a critical part of learning a new language. Yet, due to structural, historical, and individual variability associated with natural languages, isolating the impact of specific factors on word learning can be challenging. Artificial languages are versatile tools for addressing this problem, allowing researchers to systematic...
Article
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Many children around the world grow up bilingual, learning and using two or more languages in everyday life. Currently, however, children’s language backgrounds are not always reported in developmental studies. There is mounting evidence that bilingualism interacts with a wide array of processes including language, cognitive, perceptual, brain, and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many children around the world grow up bilingual, learning and using two or more languages in everyday life. Currently, however, children’s language backgrounds are not always reported in developmental studies. There is mounting evidence that bilingualism interacts with a wide array of processes including language, cognitive, perceptual, brain, and...
Article
The Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q) is a validated questionnaire tool for collecting self-reported proficiency and experience data from bilingual and multilingual speakers ages 14 to 80. It is available in over 20 languages, and can be administered in a digital, paper-and-pencil, and oral interview format. The LEAP-Q is u...
Article
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Language has the power to shape cognition, behavior, and even the form and function of the brain. Technological and scientific developments have recently yielded an increasingly diverse set of tools with which to study the way language changes neural structures and processes. Here, we review research investigating the consequences of multilingualis...
Article
When considering how particular features of an organism develop, it is often intuitive to turn to examples of phylogenetic adaptation, or evolutionary change over time. The rapid darkening of peppered moths of industrial-era London provide a compelling case, as light-colored moths became easier for predators to spot in a city increasingly blackened...
Article
Purpose: Understanding speech often involves processing input from multiple modalities. The availability of visual information may make auditory input less critical for comprehension. This study examines whether the auditory system is sensitive to the presence of complementary sources of input when exerting top-down control over the amplification...
Article
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Auditory sensation is often thought of as a bottom-up process, yet the brain exerts top-down control to affect how and what we hear. We report the discovery that the magnitude of top-down influence varies across individuals as a result of differences in linguistic background and executive function. Participants were 32 normal-hearing individuals (2...
Article
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Can experience change perception? Here, we examine whether language experience shapes the way individuals process auditory and visual information. We used the McGurk effect—the discovery that when people hear a speech sound (e.g., “ba”) and see a conflicting lip movement (e.g., “ga”), they recognize it as a completely new sound (e.g., “da”). This f...
Article
Bilinguals’ two languages are both active in parallel, and controlling co-activation is one of bilinguals’ principle challenges. Trilingualism multiplies this challenge. To investigate how third language (L3) learners manage interference between languages, Spanish-English bilinguals were taught an artificial language that conflicted with English an...
Article
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The increased globalization of science and technology and the growing number of bilinguals and multilinguals in the world have made research with multiple languages a mainstay for scholars who study human function and especially those who focus on language, cognition, and the brain. Such research can benefit from large-scale databases and online re...
Article
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The human capacity to master multiple languages is remarkable and leads to structural and functional changes in the brain. Understanding how the brain accommodates multiple languages simultaneously is crucial to developing a complete picture of our species’ linguistic capabilities. To examine the neural mechanisms involved in processing two languag...
Article
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The current study examines the relation between cognitive control and linguistic competition resolution at the sublexical level in bilinguals. Twenty-one Spanish–English bilinguals and 23 English monolinguals completed a non-linguistic Stroop task (indexing inhibitory control) and a linguistic priming/lexical decision task (indexing Spanish phonota...
Article
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Aims and objectives: The objectives of the present research were to examine the cognitive consequences of trilingualism and explain them relative to the cognitive consequences of bilingualism. Approach: A comparison of cognitive abilities in trilinguals and bilinguals was conducted. In addition, we proposed a cognitive plasticity framework to ac...
Article
To examine the neural signatures of language co-activation and control during bilingual spoken word comprehension, Korean-English bilinguals and English monolinguals were asked to make overt or covert semantic relatedness judgments on auditorily-presented English word pairs. In two critical conditions, participants heard word pairs consisting of an...
Article
Learning a new language involves substantial vocabulary acquisition. Learners can accelerate this process by relying on words with native-language overlap, such as cognates. For bilingual third language learners, it is necessary to determine how their two existing languages interact during novel language learning. A scaffolding account predicts tra...
Article
Many adults struggle with second language acquisition but learn new native-language words relatively easily. We investigated the role of sublexical native-language patterns on novel word acquisition. Twenty English monolinguals learned 48 novel written words in five repeated testing blocks. Half were orthographically wordlike (e.g., nish , high nei...
Chapter
Despite a growing number of bilingual children enrolled in Early Intervention language services, methods of administering language assessments to bilingual children are not standardized. This study reports clinically-meaningful differences in bilingual children's receptive and expressive language outcomes when their language skills are assessed in...
Article
When listening to speech in a second language, bilinguals' perception of acoustic-phonetic properties is often influenced by the features that are important in the native language of the bilingual. Furthermore, changes in the perception of segmental contrasts due to L1 experience can influence L2 lexical access during comprehension. The presen...
Article
Full-text available
During spoken language comprehension, auditory input activates a bilingual’s two languages in parallel based on phonological representations that are shared across languages. However, it is unclear whether bilinguals access phonotactic constraints from the non-target language during target language processing. For example, in Spanish, words with s+...
Article
Experience with multiple languages has unique effects on cortical structure and information processing. Differences in gray matter density and patterns of cortical activation are observed in lifelong bilinguals compared to monolinguals as a result of their experience managing interference across languages. Monolinguals who acquire a second language...
Article
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Recent research suggests that bilingual experience reconfigures linguistic and nonlinguistic cognitive processes. We examined the relationship between linguistic competition resolution and nonlinguistic cognitive control in younger and older adults who were either bilingual or monolingual. Participants heard words in English and identified the refe...
Article
Purpose: Assessment tools are needed to accurately index performance in bilingual populations. This study examines the verbal fluency task to further establish the relative sensitivities of letter and category fluency in assessing bilingual language skills in Spanish-English bilinguals. Method: English monolinguals and Spanish-English bilinguals...
Chapter
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Knowing more than one language changes how individuals think about and interpret events in their environment. Using evidence from reaction time, eye-tracking, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and event-related potential research, we explore how language experience transforms cognitive control and emotion, two features that are central to huma...
Article
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Learning how to speak a second language (i.e., becoming a bilingual) and learning how to play a musical instrument (i.e., becoming a musician) are both thought to increase executive control through experience-dependent plasticity. However, evidence supporting this effect is mixed for bilingualism and limited for musicianship. In addition, the combi...
Article
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Most of the world’s population has knowledge of at least two languages. Many of these bilinguals are also exposed to and identify with at least two cultures. Because language knowledge enables participation in cultural practices and expression of cultural beliefs, bilingual experience and cultural identity are interconnected. However, the specific...
Article
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The current study examined the impact of language experience on the ability to efficiently search for objects in the face of distractions. Monolingual and bilingual participants completed an ecologically-valid, object-finding task that contained conflicting, consistent, or neutral auditory cues. Bilinguals were faster than monolinguals at locating...
Chapter
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The human language system integrates information from multiple sources and modalities. Bilinguals, who experience increased processing demands due to competition between their two languages, may be especially likely to rely on cues from multiple modalities. The cross-modal integration involved in language processing has been frequently studied usin...
Article
Full-text available
In natural conversation, speakers often mention the same referents multiple times. While repeated referents are produced with less prominence than non-repeated referents, it is unclear whether prominence reduction is due to repetition of concepts, words, or a combination of the two. In the current study, we dissociate these sources of repetition by...
Article
Language and vision are highly interactive. Here we show that people activate language when they perceive the visual world, and that this language information impacts how speakers of different languages focus their attention. For example, when searching for an item (e.g., clock) in the same visual display, English and Spanish speakers look at diffe...
Article
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The last two decades have seen a dramatic surge in research on bilingualism and multilingualism, with exciting new frontiers in the study of language being explored particularly in the cognitive and neural sciences. Current research is dedicated to studying the bilingual experience and shows a language system that is highly dynamic, where each lang...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In natural conversation, speakers often mention the same referents multiple times over the course of a conversation, and prior research has demonstrated that previously mentioned referents are produced with less acoustic prominence compared to previously unmentioned referents. However, it is unclear whether this effect is due to repetition of word-...
Article
Full-text available
When bilinguals process written language, they show delays in accessing lexical items relative to monolinguals. The present study investigated whether this effect extended to spoken language comprehension, examining the processing of sentences with either low or high semantic constraint in both first and second languages. English-German bilinguals,...
Article
Full-text available
Studies measuring inhibitory control in the visual modality have shown a bilingual advantage in both children and adults. However, there is a lack of developmental research on inhibitory control in the auditory modality. This study compared the comprehension of active and passive English sentences in 7-10 years old bilingual and monolingual childre...
Article
Bilinguals have been shown to outperform monolinguals at suppressing task-irrelevant information and on overall speed during cognitive control tasks. Here, monolinguals’ and bilinguals’ performance was compared on two nonlinguistic tasks: a Stroop task (with perceptual Stimulus–Stimulus conflict among stimulus features) and a Simon task (with Stimu...
Chapter
In this chapter, we consider how bilingualism affects memory for events from one's personal past, such as a person's first day of school many years prior or a conversation held just a few hours ago. We first review studies indicating that the language a bilingual is using at retrieval improves access to experiences that were encoded when that same...
Article
Accounts of bilingual cognitive advantages suggest an associative link between cross-linguistic competition and inhibitory control. We investigate this link by examining English-Spanish bilinguals' parallel language activation during auditory word recognition and nonlinguistic Stroop performance. Thirty-one English-Spanish bilinguals and 30 English...
Article
The effects of bilingual education on reading and math achievement were examined by comparing test scores across different elementary-school programs. Results revealed that bilingual Two-Way Immersion programs benefited both minority-language and majority-language students. Minority-language students in Two-Way Immersion outperformed their peers in...
Article
During speech comprehension, bilinguals co-activate both of their languages, resulting in cross-linguistic interaction at various levels of processing. This interaction has important consequences for both the structure of the language system and the mechanisms by which the system processes spoken language. Using computational modeling, we can exami...