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Abstract

Polyglot and non-polyglot Italian subjects were given tests assessing verbal (phonological) and visuo-spatial short-term and long-term memory, general intelligence, and vocabulary knowledge in their native language. Polyglots had a superior level of performance in verbal short-term memory tasks (auditory digit span and nonword repetition) and in a paired-associate learning test, which assessed the subjects' ability to acquire new (Russian) words. By contrast, the two groups had comparable performance levels in tasks assessing general intelligence, visuo-spatial short-term memory and learning, and paired-associate learning of Italian words. These findings, which are in line with neuropsychological and developmental evidence, as well as with data from normal subjects, suggest a close relationship between the capacity of phonological memory and the acquisition of foreign languages.

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... Multiple regression analysis of the data also showed that vocabulary was an integral part of the Similarly, Papagno and Vallar (1995) found strong significant correlations between their two PSTM tests (oral digit span and non-word recall) and their participants' learning rates of non-words. ...
... General intelligence and overall verbal skills were not found to play a contributing role in the polyglots' superior performance in the non-word learning task supporting the view that general intelligence and PSTM are independent constructs (Baddeley, 1993;Baddeley et al., 1988;Vallar & Papagno, 1993). Although the findings support the role of PSTM in L2 vocabulary acquisition, Papagno and Vallar (1995) also rightly claim that the significantly better performance of the polyglot group in the non-word learning task may be attributed to their wider knowledge of phonological rules and lexical words in all their known languages that may structurally resemble the non-words as well as to the polyglots' experience with applying vocabulary learning strategies when learning new words. This long-term memory (LTM) knowledge may, thus, play a role in the polyglots' efficiency store and recall unfamiliar ! ...
... The role of PSTM in L2 development, especially as this is manifested in vocabulary acquisition, has been established in several past studies (Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Papagno et al., 1991;Service, 1992). This is supported by the present findings which suggest that a high PSTM is a good predictor of L2 proficiency. ...
Thesis
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This study explored the relationship of complex working memory (WM) and phonological short-term memory (PSTM) to aspects of second language (L2) oral production and selfrepair behaviour. The study drew on Levelt’s (1989; 1983) model of speech and perceptual loop theory of monitoring while the concept of WM was based on Baddeley and Hitch’s (1974) multicomponent model of WM. Complex WM refers to the cognitive capacity of simultaneous storage and processing of information while PSTM refers to the capacity of the phonological store. The participants were 84 Emirati female university students learning English in an intensive language program in Abu Dhabi. It was hypothesised that given the limited automaticity of the language building processes in less advanced EFL learners, and thus the dependence of these processes on attentional resources, speakers with higher WM and PSTM scores would perform better in terms of fluency, accuracy, lexical and syntactic complexity in a task with simultaneous online planning. In addition, a relationship of WM with the number and the types of overt self-repairs was anticipated based on the attentional demands of the monitoring processes. Complex WM was measured with a backward digit span test in participants’ L1 and a listening span test in L2. Phonological STM was measured with a simple word-recall test in L2. Statistical analysis of the data showed a relationship of complex WM with disfluency and general grammatical accuracy, while PSTM correlated significantly with speech rate, general and specific measures of grammatical accuracy as well as lexical variety. Complex WM and PSTM were also found to correlate moderately with overall oral performance scores. No statistically significant results emerged between complex WM, PSTM and number of self-repairs, but there was a significant negative correlation between PSTM and phonological error-repairs. Overall, the findings support that WM contributes to variation in L2 oral production but not overt self-repair behaviour.
... In this section, we present the three main hypotheses to account for the bilingual advantage on L3 vocabulary learning, i.e., enhanced short-term phonological memory skills (Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Van Hell & Mahn, 1997), decreased sensitivity to L1 interference (Bartolotti & Marian, 2012b;Meuter & Allport, 1999; Van Assche, Duyck & Gollan, 2013) and enhanced phonological discrimination skills (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a). ...
... Despite a controversial impact on cognitive processing, the bilingual advantage has been relatively consistently documented for foreign language learning (and more especially vocabulary learning) in adults compared to monolinguals (Cenoz & Valencia, 1994;Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a, 2009b8 Bilingual advantage in L3 vocabulary acquisition: evidence of a generalized learning benefit among classroom immersion children (Salomé, Casalis, & Commissaire, 2021). Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012;Kaushanskaya, Yoo & Van Hecke, 2013;Keshavarz & Astaneh, 2004;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Sanz, 2000;Van Hell & Mahn, 1997). ...
... To account for this bilingual advantage on L3 vocabulary learning, three main hypotheses have been suggested. i.e., enhanced short-term phonological memory (Papagno & Vallar, 1995;van Hell & Mahn, 1997), decreased sensibility to L1 interference (Bartolotti & Marian, 2012b;Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009b;Meuter & Allport, 1999;Van Assche et al., 2013), and increased phonological discrimination abilities (Kaushanskaya et al., 2009a). ...
Thesis
The contribution of orthography has been reported for learning of low-frequency words in native language (L1; Rosenthal & Ehri, 2008) and of pseudowords (Ricketts, Bishop, & Nation, 2009) by using a paired-associate learning paradigm (PAL). These studies cannot fully account for foreign language (L2) word learning, for which both L2 spoken and written forms have to be linked into a pre-existing concept, which in turn, is already connected to phonological and (sometimes) to an orthographic representation in L1. Besides, L2 learning confronts children to different challenges, such as incongruent letter/sound mapping with L1, due to the larger overlap on written than on spoken modality between languages (Marian et al., 2012). Therefore, this doctoral work aimed to explore the benefit of orthography on L2 word learning in children and to determine whether this advantage was modulated by L1 reading skills. We also sought to determine the moderating effect of incongruent letter/sound mappings with L1 on L2 learning. Using a PAL, we conducted three main L2 vocabulary learning studies by contrasting two learning methods, both simultaneous presentation of spoken and written (orthographic method) vs spoken forms only (non-orthographic method). As for learning phase, we made two groups of children (third vs. fifth graders) learn 16 (Study 1a) or 24 German words (Study 1b, Study 2). As for testing, we assessed learning performance with three main experimental tasks: a forced-choice picture recognition task (choose the correct image corresponding to the spoken form), a go/no-go spoken recognition task (discrimination between spoken German words and close phonological distractors) and an orthographic judgment task (select the correct German written form among three written distractors). We reported a consistent benefit of orthography on all three experimental tasks in both groups, supporting that children relied on written information at early steps of L2 learning. Still, contradictory results were reported for phonological learning in fifth graders, given that the benefit of orthography was only retrieved when increasing the learning load (Study 1b). Interestingly, although fifth graders outperformed the third graders on all experimental tasks, we reported a comparable amplitude for the orthographic facilitation in both groups. Measures of L1 reading skills were not (consistently) correlated with L2 vocabulary learning, supporting that a minimal amount of orthographic knowledge was enough to trigger an orthographic facilitation. A moderating effect of incongruent letter/sound mappings with L1 was restricted to L2 phonological learning, with larger discriminative performance for congruent compared to incongruent L2 words immediately after learning (Study 2), but disappeared after a one-week delay, aiming for a differential time-course for the encoding of congruent and incongruent L2 words, an assumption that was discussed in regards to the ontogenetic model of L2 lexical representation (Bordag, Gor, & Opitz, 2021) and to the L2 lexical fuzziness (Kapnoula, 2021). Study 3 was conducted during an Indoc mobility and explored whether the bilingual advantage on L3 vocabulary learning might be extended to children attending a classroom-immersion to L2 and whether this advantage was reinforced by the cross-linguistic similarities conveyed by cognate words. We reported a generalized advantage and cognate facilitation was restricted to the learning of novel L3 written form. In light of these results, this doctoral work reinforced the need for developmental models of bilingualism to consider the lexical and sublexical processing at early steps of L2 acquisition.
... Bilinguals also show enhanced metalinguistic awareness (Bialystok, 2001;Dodd, So & Lam, 2008;Loizou & Stuart, 2003), possibly leading to faster reading acquisition (Bialystok, Luk & Kwan, 2005), despite overall poorer vocabulary (Poulin-Dubois, Bialystok, Blaye, Polonia & Yott, 2013) and slower lexical access (Gollan, Montoya, Fennema-Notestine & Morris, 2005). In addition, several studies have shown a bilingual advantage in foreign language learning (especially, vocabulary learning) in adults compared to monolinguals (Cenoz & Valencia, 1994;Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a, 2009bKaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012;Kaushanskaya, Yoo & Van Hecke, 2013;Keshavarz & Astaneh, 2004;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Sanz, 2000;Van Hell & Mahn, 1997), questioning whether this learning advantage might be extended to bilingual children (Kaushanskaya, Gross & Buac, 2014). This study aimed to explore whether children attending a bilingual classroom-immersion program show a greater ability to learn vocabulary, including written, spoken and conceptual forms, in a third language (L3) compared to children attending standard monolingual classrooms, and to what extent this potential advantage varies depending on whether the words to be learned are L2/L3 cognates words or not. ...
... Several mechanisms may account for this bilingual advantage: namely, enhanced phonological short-term memory (Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Van Hell & Mahn, 1997), decreased sensitivity to L1 interference Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009b;Meuter & Allport, 1999;Van Assche, Duyck & Gollan, 2013), and enhanced phonological discrimination abilities (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a). According to Papagno and Vallar (1995), phonological short-term memory plays a major contribution in foreign vocabulary learning, consistent with studies conducted in monolinguals (Gathercole & Baddeley, 1989) and bilinguals (Majerus, Poncelet, Van der Linden & Weekes, 2008). ...
... Several mechanisms may account for this bilingual advantage: namely, enhanced phonological short-term memory (Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Van Hell & Mahn, 1997), decreased sensitivity to L1 interference Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009b;Meuter & Allport, 1999;Van Assche, Duyck & Gollan, 2013), and enhanced phonological discrimination abilities (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a). According to Papagno and Vallar (1995), phonological short-term memory plays a major contribution in foreign vocabulary learning, consistent with studies conducted in monolinguals (Gathercole & Baddeley, 1989) and bilinguals (Majerus, Poncelet, Van der Linden & Weekes, 2008). Nevertheless, the bilingual advantage still persisted when bilingual and monolingual adults were matched on their phonological memory skills (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a;Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012), tempering the account of phonological memory on the bilingual advantage. ...
Article
The present study explored whether emergent bilingual children showed enhanced abilities to learn L3 vocabulary including written, spoken and conceptual forms compared to monolinguals, and the impact of L2/L3 cross-language similarities on such an effect. To this end, we contrasted the English word learning performance of French fifth-graders attending either a monolingual school program or a classroom-immersion program with German as an L2. Half of the items to be learned were German/English (L2/L3) cognate words while the other half were monolingual English (L3) words. Learning was assessed with a forced-choice recognition task, a go/no-go auditive recognition task and an orthographic judgment task. Results yielded a generalized bilingual advantage, with classroom-immersion children outperforming monolinguals on all tasks, irrespective of cognateness, except for the orthographic task. These findings advocate for a bilingual advantage in children that is globally not driven by the specific language properties of cognates, except for the written modality.
... Support for this intuition comes from classroom studies showing more successful third language acquisition in bilingual versus monolingual schools (Cenoz & Valencia, 1994;Sanz, 2000) as well as laboratory studies using behavioural word-learning paradigms (for a review, see Hirosh & Degani, 2018). Many of these experiments have revealed enhanced performance of bilinguals in memorising associations between novel words and translations or pictures (e.g., Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a;2009b;Kaushanskaya, 2012;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Van Hell & Candia Mahn, 1997;Yoshida, Tran, Benitez & Kuwabara, 2011), although not all studies reported better learning for bilinguals across different performance measures (e.g., Bradley, King & Hernandez, 2013). ...
... Relatedly, it has been argued that phonological memory may underlie the bilingual advantage in word learning, given that multilingual experience is correlated with higher performance on auditory digit span and non-word repetition tasks (Papagno & Vallar, 1995). In order to test this hypothesis, Kaushanskaya (2012) compared monolinguals and bilinguals on a digit span task. ...
... The current study investigated whether bilingual experience alters neural mechanisms associated with learning novel words. More specifically, this study tested the hypothesis that bilinguals' experience with learning and using a second language may alter the integration of novel lexical-semantic information with prior knowledge, which may account for the bilingual advantage in word learning that has often been reported in behavioural studies (e.g., Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a;2009b;Kaushanskaya, 2012;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Van Hell & Candia Mahn, 1997;Yoshida et al., 2011; but see Bradley et al., 2013). In the Introduction, we discussed three explanations that have been proposed in this literature: bilingual experience may increase sensitivity to semantic information associated with novel words, it may enhance phonological abilities, or it may affect the involvement of cognitive control. ...
Article
This study investigated how bilingual experience alters neural mechanisms supporting novel word learning. We hypothesised that novel words elicit increased semantic activation in the larger bilingual lexicon, potentially stimulating stronger memory integration than in monolinguals. English monolinguals and Spanish–English bilinguals were trained on two sets of written Swahili–English word pairs, one set on each of two consecutive days, and performed a recognition task in the MRI-scanner. Lexical integration was measured through visual primed lexical decision. Surprisingly, no group difference emerged in explicit word memory, and priming occurred only in the monolingual group. This difference in lexical integration may indicate an increased need for slow neocortical interleaving of old and new information in the denser bilingual lexicon. The fMRI data were consistent with increased use of cognitive control networks in monolinguals and of articulatory motor processes in bilinguals, providing further evidence for experience-induced neural changes: monolinguals and bilinguals reached largely comparable behavioural performance levels in novel word learning, but did so by recruiting partially overlapping but non-identical neural systems to acquire novel words.
... The second relevant area of research is learning words with translation ambiguity. In general, bilinguals have been found to be better at novel word learning than monolinguals (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Van Hell & Mahn, 1997). Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel (2012) found that this effect seems to be, at least partially, explained by greater sensitivity to semantic information 37 during learning. ...
... The question for Study 2 is whether the L3 learners, who due to already having acquired two languages, might be better able to deal with translation ambiguity from the onset. In previous research, bilinguals have been found to be better word learners (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Van Hell & Mahn, 1997). One hypothesis is that this is caused by greater sensitivity to semantic information during learning (Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012). ...
... Learners that have already acquired another language than their L1 have been found to be better at novel word learning than monolinguals (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Van Hell & Mahn, 1997). This has been hypothesized to be due to greater sensitivity to semantic information (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2012). ...
Thesis
One phenomenon causing issues for language learners in the form of cross-linguistic influence (CLI) is translation ambiguity (Eddington & Tokowicz, 2013). Translation ambiguity refers to a situation where word meanings are different in a speaker’s languages. To give an example, Swedish does not lexicalize any difference between TO LEND and TO BORROW, whereas this distinction is made in English. Jiang (2002) proposed that language learners depend on explicit rules to resolve translation ambiguity. That is, based on Jiang’s predictions, a Swedish learner of English would have to consciously remember this difference to use the two English words successfully. Research in this area has focused on speakers with two languages. This thesis extends the research into third language acquisition. In this thesis, four empirical investigations are presented. Studies 1 and 2 focus on the initial state in L2 and L3 learners, respectively, of a Finnish-based pseudolanguage Kontu. Study 3 explored L1 German and L2 English naturalistic learners of L3 Swedish with longitudinal data from a beginner’s level until advanced fluency in the L3. Study 4 is a cross-sectional replication of Study 3. The present thesis represents a unique constellation of studies on CLI in late foreign language learners’ multilingual mental lexicon (MML) in that it presents data covering the very initial state all the way up to a high (≥ CEFR C1) proficiency. Moreover, it presents data from all six potential directions of CLI in L3 acquisition, in both accuracy and processing. Finally, all four studies investigated both forward and reverse CLI in the MML. Taking the results of the four studies together, CLI in the MML appears to be multidirectional. Both forward and reverse CLI was observed. The forward effects align with the predictions of the Parasitic Model (Hall & Ecke, 2003) for the initial stages as well as the RHM-TA overall (Eddington & Tokowicz, 2013). No indications of independence from the previously acquired languages in the L3 lexical representations were found. Also, the results indicate that the effects of translation ambiguity primarily occur in forward CLI at the item level, while the ob-served effects in reverse CLI were more global in nature in line with the predictions of Higby and colleagues (2020). For reverse CLI, there were differences between immersed and non-immersed learners. Furthermore, CLI operates differently in accuracy and processing. That is, a lack of overt effects does not imply the absence of CLI, which corroborates Jiang’s hypothesis. Finally, cognitive control, working memory, and psychotypology were all found to affect the learners’ behavior. The findings highlight the importance of considering the lack of conceptual non-equivalence in modeling multi-lingual lexical processing as well the importance of separating the effects of attrition from the effects of reverse CLI.
... While the effect of bilingualism on executive functioning in young adults is equivocal, bilingualism does appear to enhance two interrelated constructs: lexical learning (Bartolotti & Marian, 2012;Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a;Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012;Kaushanskaya, Yoo, Van Hecke, & Oetting, 2013;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;van Hell & Candia Mahn, 1997) and phonological short-term memory (Kaushanskaya, 2012;Lehtonen et al., 2018;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;. Lexical learning refers to learning of verbal material and is often indexed in the laboratory using associative learning tasks in which an unfamiliar item is paired with a familiar item or by presenting unfamiliar lexical items in context, such as in a reading passage-after some amount of time for study, participants are tested on the target lexical items. ...
... While the effect of bilingualism on executive functioning in young adults is equivocal, bilingualism does appear to enhance two interrelated constructs: lexical learning (Bartolotti & Marian, 2012;Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a;Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012;Kaushanskaya, Yoo, Van Hecke, & Oetting, 2013;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;van Hell & Candia Mahn, 1997) and phonological short-term memory (Kaushanskaya, 2012;Lehtonen et al., 2018;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;. Lexical learning refers to learning of verbal material and is often indexed in the laboratory using associative learning tasks in which an unfamiliar item is paired with a familiar item or by presenting unfamiliar lexical items in context, such as in a reading passage-after some amount of time for study, participants are tested on the target lexical items. ...
... With regard to the bilingual advantage in lexical learning, theories are much more plentiful and varied. Proposed explanations include superior attention control (Bartolotti & Marian, 2012;Kaushanskaya, 2012;; greater phonological STM capacity (Papagno & Vallar, 1995;van Hell & Candia Mahn, 1997); a more flexible and tolerant phonological system (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a); activation of a richer semantic network (Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012); improved ability to manage interference resulting from differences in sound-symbol mappings across languages (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009b); and differences in lexical learning strategies (Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012;Kaushanskaya et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study was conducted to replicate bilingual advantages in short-term memory for language-like material and word learning in young adults and extend this research to the sign domain, ultimately with the goal of investigating the domain specificity of bilingual advantages in cognition. Data from 112 monolingual hearing non-signers and 78 bilingual hearing non-signers were analysed for this study. Participants completed a battery of tasks assessing sign and word learning, short-term memory, working memory capacity, intelligence, and a language and demographic questionnaire. Overall, the results of this study suggested a bilingual advantage in memory for speech-like material – no other advantage (or disadvantage) was found. Results are discussed within the context of recent large-scale experimental and meta-analytic studies that have failed to find bilingual advantages in domain-general abilities such as attention control and working memory capacity in young adults.
... Service and Craik (1993) found that PSTM as measured by a FL word repetition task predicted paired-associate learning for older participants (over 60 years old) but not for younger participants. On the other hand, other studies found PSTM predicted intentional novel word learning (Atkins & Baddeley, 1998;Martin & Ellis, 2012;Papagno & Vallar, 1995). There is however, a lack of research on the role PSTM plays in INCIDENTAL word learning. ...
... Short-term and working memory tasks PSTM was assessed using a digit span (Atkins & Baddeley, 1998;Hu, 2012;Papagno & Vallar, 1995). In each trial, participants were presented with three to eight single digits on screen and were instructed to memorise them. ...
Article
To become fluent in a second language, learners need to acquire a large vocabulary. However, the cognitive and affective mechanisms that support word learning, particularly among second language learners, are only beginning to be understood. Prior research has focused on intentional learning and small artificial lexicons. In the current study investigating the sources of individual variability in word learning and their underlying mechanisms, participants intentionally and incidentally learned a large vocabulary of Welsh words (i.e., emulating word learning in the wild) and completed a large battery of cognitive and affective measures. The results showed that, for both learning conditions, native language knowledge, auditory/phonological abilities and orthographic sensitivity all made unique contributions to word learning. Importantly, short-term/working memory played a significantly larger role in intentional learning. We discuss these results in the context of the mechanisms that support both native and non-native language learning.
... There is robust evidence from spontaneous learning in experimental setups (for a broader and detailed review, see Hirosh & Degani, 2018;Montanari, 2019). The study by Papagno and Vallar (1995) included 10 multilingual Italian participants (five speaking three and five speaking four languages) and 10 Italian speakers with knowledge of only one L2. They measured the participants' abilities to learn word associations in a paired association task: Participants were presented with word pairs in Italian or had to learn a nonword based on Russian (a language none of the participants was familiar with) paired with a word in Italian. ...
... For multilingual adults, superior phonological short-term memory abilities have been found in combination with greater phonological memory capacity, and better performance when learning nonwords were attributed to phonological memory capacity (Papagno & Vallar, 1995). One alternative explanation for this catalytic effect of word learning has been put forward by Kaushanskaya and Marian (2009). ...
Article
This review scrutinizes the evidence concerning the factors that affect the ease with which multilinguals learn additional languages. First, I focus on language learning experiences that could help multilinguals acquire new languages (e.g., consequences of exposure, use of prior knowledge, biliteracy). I then discuss how multilinguals manage multiple languages and struggle with language control problems. By finally shedding more light onto effects of learning on the brain and the ways it adapts to the higher processing demands when having to manage multiple languages, it becomes clear that the key to understanding learning and processing of multiple languages lies in understanding the adaptive and dynamic nature of the brain. Although the brain is striving for efficient processing, environmental influences, communicative demands and genetic predispositions influence the learning and processing of multiple languages. I therefore suggest five specific effects related to multilingualism which may ease subsequent learning of multiple languages.
... However, there are still certain discrepancies among studies that have investigated a possible effect of bilingualism on PSTM. Papagno and Vallar (1995) used an auditory digit span task (DST) and a non-word repetition task to measure multilinguals' (i.e., individuals who spoke fluently at least three languages) and bilinguals' PSTM capacity and they found that multilinguals had significantly higher verbal short-term memory spans than the bilinguals. Kormos and Sáfár (2008) found a significant correlation between PSTM capacity (measured through a non-word repetition task) and proficiency test results of a group of pre-intermediate Hungarian L2 learners of English, but the same pattern of results was not replicated for those students who had an elementary proficiency level in English. ...
... Furthermore, the results revealed a tendency toward higher mean digit spans for intermediate L2 learners compared to their monolingual peers and a tendency for higher mean digit spans for both advanced L2 learners and multilinguals compared to L2 learners of intermediate proficiency and to monolinguals, although these differences did not reach statistical significance. Taken together, these results corroborate the multilingual advantage in PSTM (compared to monolinguals, intermediate L2 learners and simultaneous bilinguals) and they are consistent with previous studies suggesting that multilinguals outperform monolinguals (Papagno & Vallar, 1995) and intermediate L2 learners (Biedroń & Szczepaniak, 2012) in PSTM tasks. These results can be interpreted in at least two ways. ...
Article
Aims and objectives: This study examines whether different types of bilingualism modulate memory capacity differently. More specifically, the study assesses the effects of age of acquisition, number of languages acquired and proficiency in the second language (L2) on phonological short- term memory, visuospatial memory and semantic memory. Design: Memory capacity was measured by means of three tasks: the digit span task (phonological short-term memory), the Corsi block task (visuospatial memory), and the word span task (semantic memory). Participants were divided into five groups based on the number of languages acquired, age of acquisition and proficiency: monolinguals, intermediate L2 learners, advanced L2 learners, simultaneous bilinguals and multilinguals. Data and analysis: Analyses of variance were used to analyze participants’ scores for each of the memory tasks. Findings and conclusions: For the word span task, no significant differences were found among the groups, which supports the notion that semantic memory is language independent. Furthermore, intermediate and advanced L2 learners and multilinguals presented significantly higher phonological short-term memory spans compared to simultaneous bilinguals. Finally, intermediate L2 learners and multilinguals significantly outperformed monolinguals on visuospatial memory spans. Results suggest that L2 acquisition might strengthen both visuospatial and phonological short-term memory, which in turn tend to improve as L2 proficiency increases. Originality: While previous studies have provided evidence of a bilingual advantage in memory capacity, these studies have generally grouped different types of bilinguals together (e.g., L2 leaners and heritage speakers). This study takes a step forward by examining differences in memory capacity across different types of bilinguals and in comparison to their monolingual peers in order to better understand the cognitive effects of bilingualism. Significance and implications: When considering age of acquisition, number of languages acquired and proficiency as grouping factors, different effects of bilingualism on memory capacity can be observed. Future studies on this matter should include bilingual participants that are comparable with regard to the aforementioned variables.
... However, there are still certain discrepancies among studies that have investigated a possible effect of bilingualism on PSTM. Papagno and Vallar (1995) used an auditory digit span task (DST) and a non-word repetition task to measure multilinguals' (i.e., individuals who spoke fluently at least three languages) and bilinguals' PSTM capacity and they found that multilinguals had significantly higher verbal short-term memory spans than the bilinguals. Kormos and Sáfár (2008) found a significant correlation between PSTM capacity (measured through a non-word repetition task) and proficiency test results of a group of pre-intermediate Hungarian L2 learners of English, but the same pattern of results was not replicated for those students who had an elementary proficiency level in English. ...
... Furthermore, the results revealed a tendency toward higher mean digit spans for intermediate L2 learners compared to their monolingual peers and a tendency for higher mean digit spans for both advanced L2 learners and multilinguals compared to L2 learners of intermediate proficiency and to monolinguals, although these differences did not reach statistical significance. Taken together, these results corroborate the multilingual advantage in PSTM (compared to monolinguals, intermediate L2 learners and simultaneous bilinguals) and they are consistent with previous studies suggesting that multilinguals outperform monolinguals (Papagno & Vallar, 1995) and intermediate L2 learners (Biedroń & Szczepaniak, 2012) in PSTM tasks. These results can be interpreted in at least two ways. ...
Preprint
Preprint available at https://psyarxiv.com/jfq6s This study examines whether different types of bilingualism modulate memory capacity differently. More specifically, the study assesses the effects of age of acquisition, number of languages acquired and proficiency in the L2 on phonological short-term memory, visuospatial memory and semantic memory. Design Memory capacity was measured by means of three tasks: digit span task (phonological short-term memory), Corsi block task (visuospatial memory) and word span task (semantic memory). Participants were divided into five groups based on the number of languages acquired, age of acquisition and proficiency: monolinguals, intermediate L2 learners, advanced L2 learners, simultaneous bilinguals and multilinguals. Data/analysis Analyses of variance were used to analyze participants’ scores for each of the memory tasks. Findings/Conclusions For the word span task, no significant differences were found among the groups, which supports the notion that semantic memory is language independent. Furthermore, intermediate and advanced L2 learners and multilinguals presented significantly higher phonological short-term memory spans compared to simultaneous bilinguals. Finally, intermediate L2 learners and multilinguals significantly outperformed monolinguals on visuospatial memory spans. Results suggest that L2 acquisition might strengthen both visuospatial and phonological short-term memory, which in turn tend to improve as L2 proficiency increases. Originality While previous studies have provided evidence of a bilingual advantage on memory capacity, these studies have generally grouped different types of bilinguals together (e.g., L2 leaners and heritage speakers). This study takes a step forward by examining differences on memory capacity across different types of bilinguals and in comparison to their monolingual peers in order to better understand the cognitive effects of bilingualism. Significance/Implications When considering age of acquisition, number of languages acquired and proficiency as grouping factors, different effects of bilingualism on memory capacity can be observed. Future studies on this matter should include bilingual participants that are comparable with regard to the aforementioned variables.
... However, a small fraction of the population master a large number (sometimes, several dozen) of languages. Although this phenomenon of polyglotism is not new (e.g., Erard, 2012), very few past studies have attempted to characterize the minds and brains of such individuals (e.g., Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Paradis, 2001;Amunts et al., 2004;Hervais-Adelman et al., 2015. The only prior fMRI study that has investigated the language system of polyglots focused on comparing polyglots and non-polyglots. ...
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A small fraction of the world population master five or more languages. How do such polyglots represent and process their different languages, and more generally, what can this unique population tell us about the language system? We identified the language network in each of 25 polyglots (including 16 hyperpolyglots with knowledge of 10+ languages) and examined its response to the native language, languages of varying proficiency, and unfamiliar languages. We found that all languages elicit a response reliably above the perceptually matched control condition in all areas of the language network. The response magnitude across languages generally scaled with comprehension level: aside from the native language, which elicited a relatively low response, languages that were more comprehensible to the participant elicited stronger responses. This pattern held for both familiar (studied) languages, and unfamiliar languages (cognate languages of high-proficiency languages elicited a stronger response than non-cognate languages). We also replicated a prior finding of weaker responses during native language processing in polyglots compared to non-polyglots. These results contribute to our understanding of how multiple languages co-exist within a single brain and provide new evidence that the language-selective network responds more strongly to stimuli from which more linguistic meaning can be extracted.
... Its role as a source of individual differences in L1 is well studied (e.g., Conway & Engle, 1996;Daneman & Green, 1986;Just & Carpenter, 1992). There is also mounting evidence for the role of working memory capacity as a potential constraint on L2 processes, including reading (e.g., Leeser, 2007;Walter, 2006), writing (e.g., Adams & Guillot, 2008, sentence processing (e.g., Felser & Roberts, 2007;Juffs, 2004), speech production (e.g., O'Brien et al., 2006;Weissheimer & Mota, 2009), speech perception (e.g., Isaacs & Trofimovich, 2011), vocabulary development (e.g., Cheung, 1996;Papagno & Vallar, 1995), and grammar learning (e.g., French & O'Brien, 2008;Williams & Lovatt, 2005). Studies have generally shown that individuals with a higher working memory capacity tend to outperform those with a lower capacity. ...
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Talker variability has been reported to facilitate generalization and retention of speech learning, but is also shown to place demands on cognitive resources. Our recent study provided evidence that phonetically-irrelevant acoustic variability in single-talker (ST) speech is sufficient to induce equivalent amounts of learning to the use of multiple-talker (MT) training. This study is a follow-up contrasting MT versus ST training with varying degrees of temporal exaggeration to examine how cognitive measures of individual learners may influence the role of input variability in immediate learning and long-term retention. Native Chinese-speaking adults were trained on the English /i/-/ɪ/ contrast. We assessed the trainees' working memory and selective attention before training. Trained participants showed retention of more native-like cue weighting in both perception and production regardless of talker variability condition. The ST training group showed long-term benefit in word identification, whereas the MT training group did not retain the improvement. The results demonstrate the role of phonetically-irrelevant variability in robust speech learning and modulatory functions of nonlinguistic working memory and selective attention, highlighting the necessity to consider the interaction between input characteristics, task difficulty, and individual differences in cognitive abilities in assessing learning outcomes.
... Language learners of second or third languages, such as successive and late bilinguals as well as polyglots, benefit from knowing larger phonological structures. Therefore, it has generally been accepted that early and late bilingualism or multilingualism can improve the ability to acquire new phonological forms (van Hell and Mahn 1997;Kaushanskaya and Marian 2009;Papagno and Vallar 1995). This together with an improved STM has been found to explain why some individuals show better language capacities than others (van Hell and Mahn 1997). ...
Article
Research has shown that melody not only plays a crucial role in music but also in language acquisition processes. Evidence has been provided that melody helps in retrieving, remembering, and memorizing new language material, while relatively little is known about whether individuals who perceive speech as more melodic than others also benefit in the acquisition of oral languages. In this investigation, we wanted to show which impact the subjective melodic perception of speech has on the pronunciation of unfamiliar foreign languages. We tested 86 participants for how melodic they perceived five unfamiliar languages, for their ability to repeat and pronounce the respective five languages, for their musical abilities, and for their short-term memory (STM). The results revealed that 59 percent of the variance in the language pronunciation tasks could be explained by five predictors: the number of foreign languages spoken, short-term memory capacity, tonal aptitude, melodic singing ability, and how melodic the languages appeared to the participants. Group comparisons showed that individuals who perceived languages as more melodic performed significantly better in all language tasks than those who did not. However, even though we expected musical measures to be related to the melodic perception of foreign languages, we could only detect some correlations to rhythmical and tonal musical aptitude. Overall, the findings of this investigation add a new dimension to language research, which shows that individuals who perceive natural languages to be more melodic than others also retrieve and pronounce utterances
... Several accounts were offered to explain the bilingual advantage in novel vocabulary learning. Some authors suggested that enhancement of the general cognitive resources, such as phonological short-term memory (Papagno and Vallar 1995) and cognitive control (Bartolotti and Marian 2012;Yoshida et al. 2011), as a result of the bilingual experience with language learning, may facilitate novel word learning in bilinguals and multilinguals. Others postulated that bilinguals might be better at word learning due to a direct transfer of prior learning strategies and experiences with two languages. ...
Article
Bilinguals are more successful than monolinguals in novel language learning due to the transfer of prior learning strategies and experiences with two languages. The extent of such transfer may depend on the similarity between previously acquired languages and a novel language. This hypothesis was tested in relation to vocabulary learning in elementary school children. The sample included 10 Hebrew-Yiddish speakers, 10 Hebrew-English speakers, and 10 monolingual Hebrew speakers who learned ancient Aramaic as part of religious studies. Hebrew-Yiddish speakers, for whom both languages were similar to Aramaic, recalled more Aramaic words than both monolingual speakers and Hebrew-English speakers, for whom only one language was similar to Aramaic. There was no statistically significant difference between Hebrew-English and monolingual speakers. The advantage in the Hebrew-Yiddish group remained significant even after controlling for background variables, such as years of maternal education, phonological short-term memory, and vocabulary size in Hebrew. These findings provide evidence that previously acquired languages may facilitate vocabulary learning in a novel language if they are similar to the novel language.
... Research on speaking multiple languages and its positive influence on learning new languages has been intensively studied and will not be further discussed. For details, the following work could be consulted: (Gathercole et al. 1997;Christiner et al. 2021;Gathercole 2006;Gathercole and Baddeley 1990;Papagno and Vallar 1995). In the following, we will mainly focus on the musical and language variables which we included in the research design. ...
Article
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Research on singing and language abilities has gained considerable interest in the past decade. While several studies about singing ability and language capacity have been published, investigations on individual differences in singing behavior during childhood and its relationship to language capacity in adulthood have largely been neglected. We wanted to focus our study on whether individuals who had sung more often during childhood than their peers were also better in language and music capacity during adulthood. We used questionnaires to assess singing behavior of adults during childhood and tested them for their singing ability, their music perception skills, and their ability to perceive and pronounce unfamiliar languages. The results have revealed that the more often individuals had sung during childhood, the better their singing ability and language pronunciation skills were, while the amount of childhood singing was less predictive on music and language perception skills. We suggest that the amount of singing during childhood seems to influence the ability to sing and the ability to acquire foreign language pronunciation later in adulthood.
... One account highlights the form component and suggests that bilinguals' advantage stems from their superior phonological memory (Papagno & Vallar, 1995; but see Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009a for evidence of a bilingual advantage even with comparable phonological memories). If this is the case, then bilinguals are expected to outperform monolinguals in word learning whenever a novel form is to be learned, regardless of its meaning. ...
Article
Previous studies found that bilingual children and adults with typical language development (TLD) perform better than monolinguals in novel word learning, but show lower scores on lexical retrieval tasks (e.g., naming known words). Children with developmental language disorder (DLD) lack in their abilities in both tasks compared with children with TLD. The current study tested the interplay between bilingualism and language disorder during novel word learning and lexical retrieval. Preschoolers (N = 101; 50 boys and 51 girls; mothers' mean years of education = 16.35) in four groups (Hebrew monolinguals or Russian-Hebrew bilinguals with DLD or TLD) learned 12 novel real words (6 with a familiar referent and 6 with a novel referent) and performed a lexical retrieval task. Children exhibited significant learning with no effect of bilingualism, but a negative effect of language disorder. Thus, children with DLD performed worse than children with TLD, and this ability was not affected by bilingualism. In lexical retrieval, DLD groups scored lower than TLD groups, and critically also bilinguals scored lower than monolinguals. This differential effect of bilingualism in the two tasks suggests that bilingualism does not impede language learning mechanisms even among children with DLD. Instead, the findings suggest that lower performance in the lexical retrieval task is due to decreased frequency of exposure. By exploring both word learning and lexical retrieval, the study highlights the differential mechanisms at play in the effects of bilingualism and language disorder on the developing lexicon. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... Por un lado, tenemos los factores ligados a los procesos madurativos cerebrales (p.ej., la plasticidad cerebral de los niños es mucha mayor que la de las personas mayores) que están directamente relacionados con los procesos evolutivos, como sería la edad en la que tenemos el primer contacto con la lengua extranjera, o la edad en la que se adquiere (p.ej., Boroditsky 2001;Kersten et al. 2010;Casaponsa et al. 2015). Por otro lado, tenemos factores relacionados con las capacidades cognitivas individuales implicadas en el proceso de aprendizaje e integración de información, como serían la inteligencia o la memoria de trabajo (Papagno y Vallar 1995;Kempe et al. 2010;Lopez-Barroso et al. 2011;Casaponsa et al. 2015), las capacidades atencionales o las funciones ejecutivas en general. También, existen los factores generales asociados con el proceso del aprendizaje, como serían, por ejemplo, el grado de exposición directa a la lengua extranjera, la duración y la intensidad de esta exposición y los ámbitos en los que se usa (Athanasopoulos et al. 2011;Pavlenko y Malt 2011;Bylund y Athanasopoulos 2015a). ...
Chapter
"Linguistic relativity: can we think in Spanish living in a non-Hispanic environment?" The language we use to communicate with others has tight links with the way we think and how we perceive the world around us. Hence learning to think in another language involves cognitive changes that go beyond the linguistic use and command of the language. We not only learn new ways of communication, but also new ways to describe and perceive the world. This link between language and thought is dinamic and has its origins in the plasticity of the cerebral system itself; it is thus malleable during the lifespan. So much so that when living for an extended period of time in a foreign country we can observe fundamental changes in the way we process and perceive events, objects, colours, or even emotions. In this chapter, we will review the latest research findings in relation to the changes that occur in our way of thinking when we learn a new language, paying particular attention to whether those changes can also be observed when the language has been learnt in an educational context. Finally, we suggest ways in which teachers can incorporate in the classroom the use of different tools used in psycholinguistic research with the objective to optimize learning to think in Spanish when the language is acquired in a non-Hispanic country. "La relatividad lingüística: ¿se puede pensar en español sin vivir en un contexto de habla hispana?" La lengua que utilizamos para comunicarnos está estrechamente relacionada con la manera en la que pensamos y cómo percibimos nuestro entorno. Aprender a pensar en una nueva lengua por lo tanto conlleva cambios cognitivos que van más allá del uso y dominio puramente lingüístico de la lengua. No sólo aprendemos nuevas formas de comunicación, sino que también adquirimos nuevas maneras de describir y percibir el mundo que nos rodea. Esta relación entre lenguaje y pensamiento es dinámica y tiene como origen la misma plasticidad del sistema cerebral y por lo tanto es moldeable a lo largo de nuestras vidas. Tanto es así que al vivir largos periodos de tiempo en un país extranjero, se observan cambios estructurales en la manera que procesamos y percibimos eventos, objetos, colores, o incluso emociones. En este capítulo revisaremos los últimos hallazgos en relación a los cambios que ocurren en nuestra manera de pensar cuando aprendemos una nueva lengua, haciendo especial hincapié en si tales cambios también se observan cuando se aprende una nueva lengua en contextos educativos. Finalmente, proponemos incorporar en las aulas diferentes herramientas utilizadas en el campo de la psicolingüística con el objetivo de optimizar el aprender a pensar en español cuando se vive en un contexto de habla no hispana.
... As was found for word reading, phonological awareness and verbal memory were shown to be related to vocabulary development in the native language (e.g., Gathercole, Willis & Baddeley, 1991;Gathercole, Willis, Baddeley & Emslie, 1994;Jarrold, Baddeley, Hewes, Leeke & Phillips, 2004;Majerus, Poncelet, Greffe & van der |Linden, 2006). The most widely reported skill underlying vocabulary development is verbal memory, which influences vocabulary in native as well as foreign languages in both children and adults (e.g., Bowey, 1996;Gathercole, Service, Hitch, Adams & Martin, 1999;Hummel, 2009;Majerus et al., 2006;Nicolay & Poncelet, 2013;Papagno & Vallar, 1995). ...
Article
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To capture the complexity of foreign language literacy acquisition, we investigated cognitive skills underlying word reading, sentence reading, word vocabulary and sentence vocabulary in three different foreign languages. Students fluent in Dutch simultaneously acquired three foreign languages that differed in orthographic transparency and writing system (Spanish, French, Chinese). Cognitive skills at the start of literacy acquisition (Grade 7) were longitudinally related to literacy attainment in each of the foreign languages after two years of instruction (end of Grade 8). Structural equation regression models indicated that three areas (word and sentence vocabulary, and sentence reading) related most strongly to verbal and nonverbal intelligence, indicating the involvement of academic skills. For word reading the influence of cognitive skills appeared language specific. Across languages, native reading skills seemed to be employed to varying degrees of efficiency to decipher foreign words, more so for foreign languages with a smaller orthographic distance from the native language.
... Decades of research established that working memory is central to higher-order cognitive abilities including language (Kane et al., 2007). Working memory capacity has been demonstrated to influence syntax acquisition, sentence length, amount of detail provided in a narrative, language complexity and vocabulary learning (Adams, 1996;Baddeley et al., 1998;Blake et al., 1994;Papagno & Vallar, 1995). Despite mounting evidence that working memory is involved in spoken language, there remains a paucity of evidence on whether working memory underpins children's gesture production. ...
Article
Starting as early as 10 months of age, gesturing is present in the communicative repertoire of children, and later, around the age of two, it is integrated with speech, yielding multimodal utterances. However, children's propensity to gesture varies, and the mechanisms underlying these individual differences remain unknown. The present study tests whether gesture production in the presence of speech (bimodal gestures) or in the absence of speech (unimodal gestures) is predicted by working memory and articulation performance associated with verbal processing. Children aged 22–46 months were presented with a gesture elicitation task in which they needed to correct the actions of a puppet using everyday objects in an unconventional way. Working memory was measured by the Imitation Sorting Task (IST) and articulation performance was indexed by the Non-Word Repetition Task (NWR). It was revealed that any increase in working memory capacity was linked to a higher incidence rate of gesturing in toddlers and working memory was differentially associated with the production of unimodal and bimodal gestures. When gestures were produced without speech, they primarily relied on attentional processes as indicated by working memory capacity. Conversely, when gestures were produced with speech, it was the articulation performance supporting speech processing that predicted the number of bimodal gestures. Overall, unimodal and bimodal gestures seem to have different working memory demands.
... Diese entscheidende Rolle des verbalen Kurzzeitgedächtnisses im Worterwerb ist weitgehend unumstritten. In der Literatur findet sich zahlreiche Evidenz für einen Zusammenhang der Kurzzeitgedächtnisleistungen mit rezeptiven und produktiven lexikalischen Fähigkeiten, im muttersprachlichen (Adams & Gathercole, 2000;Baddeley et al., 1998;Gathercole, Willis, Emslie & Baddeley, 1992;Majerus & Barisnikov, 2018) ebenso wie im fremdsprachlichen Erwerb (Masoura & Gathercole, 1999;Papagno & Vallar, 1995). In ähnlicher Weise wie zum Wortlernen, könnte das verbale Kurzzeitgedächtnis auch zum Grammatikerwerb beitragen, indem es den Aufbau eines Korpus an linguistischen Mustern unterstützt, aus dem grammatische Regeln und Formen abgeleitet werden können (Baddeley et al., 1998;Hasselhorn & Werner, 2000;Speidel, 1993). ...
Thesis
Ziel dieser kumulativen Dissertation war es, zu einem umfassenderen Verständnis des sprachlichen Phänotyps von Menschen mit Down-Syndrom über die Lebensspanne hinweg beizutragen. Dazu wurden in vier Teilstudien die sprachlichen Fähigkeiten von Kindern und Jugendlichen sowie von Erwachsenen mit diesem Syndrom betrachtet. Dies erfolgte sowohl auf Gruppen- als auch auf individueller Ebene. Im Fokus standen die Fragen, welchen sprachlichen Entwicklungsstand Menschen mit Down-Syndrom erreichen, ob sich die sprachlichen Fähigkeiten im Erwachsenenalter weiterentwickeln oder auf andere Weise verändern und welche Faktoren die Sprachentwicklung in dieser Personengruppe beeinflussen. Hierbei wurde insbesondere die Rolle der nonverbalen Kognition und des verbalen Kurzzeitgedächtnisses beleuchtet. Darüber hinaus wurden qualitative Analysen durchgeführt. Die Ergebnisse sollten die Erkenntnisse über die genaue Ausprägung der sprachlichen Schwierigkeiten von Personen mit Down-Syndrom erweitern und dadurch Ansatzpunkte für eine zielgerichtete Förderung und Unterstützung liefern. Der vorliegende Manteltext gibt zunächst einen Überblick über zentrale Aspekte der sprachlichen Entwicklung von Menschen mit Down-Syndrom. Auf dieser Basis werden Forschungslücken identifiziert und die Forschungsfragen formuliert. Im Anschluss an die Darstellung der Methodik und eine kurze Zusammenfassung der durchgeführten Teilstudien werden die erzielten Ergebnisse im Hinblick auf die einzelnen Fragestellungen diskutiert. Abschließend werden Implikationen für die Praxis benannt und Anregungen für zukünftige Forschung gegeben. ---- The aim of this paper-based dissertation was to broaden the understanding of the language phenotype of individuals with Down syndrome over the lifespan. To this end the language abilities of children and adolescents as well as adults with this syndrome were investigated in four studies, both at group and at individual level. The focus was on which developmental level can be attained by individuals with Down syndrome, whether the language abilities continue to improve in adulthood or change in other ways, and which factors influence the language development in this population. Regarding the latter, in particular the role of nonverbal cognition and verbal short-term memory was examined. In addition, qualitative analyses were carried out to gain more information on the exact nature of the language difficulties of individuals with Down syndrome and thus to provide starting points for targeted support and intervention. The present thesis first gives an overview of central aspects of the language development of individuals with Down syndrome. Based on this, research gaps are identified and the research questions formulated. After presenting the method and short summaries of the individual studies the obtained results are discussed with regard to the formulated research questions. In closing, practical and research implications are addressed.
... Activation of L1 or L2 words in L3 word processing depends on the degree to which the L1 or L2 words are phonologically and orthographically similar to the L3 words. The lexical transfer from L1 or L2 to L3 is not therefore random but systematic (Papagno, Vallar 1995;Lemhöfer, Dijkstra, Michel 2004;Pinto 2013;Mulík et al. 2018). For instance, L3 English learners with L1 Arabic and L2 French may activate the French word "accident" when learning the English word "accident". ...
Article
The present paper examines the factors influencing lexical transfer in third language acquisition (TLA) by examining studies devoted to lexical transfer from L1 and L2 into L3 that were mainly conducted in Europe. There are several factors that have influence on lexical transfer: linguistic (such as typology), contextual (such as naturalistic setting vs. formal setting), psycho-linguistic (such as psychotypology and the learners’ aware­ness of cognates), individual (such as learners’ age) and other factors (such as L2/L3 proficiency level). The results of the survey indicate that negative lexical transfer from both L1 and L2 to L3 occurs (a) in naturalistic contexts, (b) when languages are typo­logically similar, (c) when students perceive these languages as similar, and (d) when L2 proficiency level is high and L3 proficiency level low. In contrast, positive lexical transfer from L2 to L3 occurs (a) in formal settings, (b) when students perceive these languages as similar, (c) when learners’ awareness of true cognates is high, and (d) when both L2 and L3 proficiency level are high. Additionally, the learners’ age was found to potentially predict the relative weight of lexical transfer in TLA in the following manner: negative lexical transfer from L1 and L2 to L3 may increase with age. Finally, it was found that when L1, L2, and L3 are equally proximate, it is the L1 that has the primary influence on lexical transfer in TLA.
... On the other hand, it should also be noted that bilingual practice might have effects on cognition. In line with this hypothesis, some studies have shown that WM and other cognitive capacities can be enhanced in multilingual speakers as compared to monolingual speakers, for both verbal and nonverbal WM measures (Blom, Küntay, Messer, Verhagen, & Leseman, 2014;Delcenserie & Genesee, 2017;Papagno & Vallar, 1995). This finding has been termed the 'bilingual cognitive advantage' hypothesis (Adesope, Lavin, Thompson, & Ungerleider, 2010;Bialystok, 2009Bialystok, , 2011Bialystok, , 2015Bialystok, Craik, Klein, & Viswanathan, 2004). ...
Article
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Numerous studies have shown a consistent relationship between verbal working memory (WM) and native-language as well as non-native language learning abilities. However, the role of attentional abilities has been rarely explored, although these abilities have been shown to be associated both with verbal working memory and oral language proficiency. This study investigated the association between WM, attention and language proficiency in young adults raised with three different languages (Luxembourgish, German and French). Auditory-verbal WM abilities were assessed via an immediate serial recall task. Attentional abilities were assessed via auditory-verbal and visuo-spatial attentional tasks. Using a Bayesian correlational approach, we observed robust evidence for an association between auditory-verbal WM abilities and non-native language proficiency. At the same time, we observed no reliable evidence in favor of an association between language proficiency and auditory-verbal/visuo-spatial attentional measures. These results suggest that auditory-verbal WM and non-native language proficiency are strongly linked in young multilingual adults, irrespective of auditory-verbal or visuo-spatial attentional abilities.
... Kalashnikova, Mattock, & Monaghan, 2014;Kaushanskaya, Gross, & Buac, 2014), as well as adults (e.g. Bartolotti & Marian, 2012;Kaushanskaya, 2012;Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009;Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012;Kaushanskaya, Yoo, & Van Hecke, 2013;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Wang & Saffran, 2014) as described below. ...
Preprint
Disambiguation, a fast-mapping process based on the process-of-elimination, is a mechanism found in children and adults when assigning a new label to an unseen object in ambiguous word learning situations. Previous research found that multilingualism delayed the onset of when disambiguation emerged in young children. In this looking-while-listening word-learning study, we studied (1) how multilingual experience may impact on the accuracy and processing times of disambiguation using English proficiency, age of acquisition of English, current English exposure, number of languages, and English as the first language as modulating back-ground variables. Then we assessed (2) whether multilinguals were able to retain fast-mapped word-object links from the disambiguation phase in three different retention conditions, and (3) how multilingualism modulated retention. During all those steps, we controlled for working memory and executive function abilities, and how those impacted on disambiguation and retention. Results indicated that multilinguals’ performance and processing speed in disambiguation and retention trials were modulated by their linguistic background variables, whereby English proficiency played the most significant role. We found a speed-accuracy trade-off which was modulated by English language proficiency and working memory ability in two of three retention conditions. That is to say that people scoring higher on proficiency or working memory tasks performed faster during the process-of-elimination, but with a decrease in terms of accuracy.
... In Buck's and Genesee (1995)'s study, the participants were English-speaking children who were attending French schools, they were given a battery of phonological awareness tests in kindergarten and in grade I. Results shows that Spanish-English bilinguals performed better than English-speaking monolinguals. Echo to Buck and Genesee's study, Papagno and Vallar (1995) also found that bilinguals performed better on tests of phonological short-term memory and on a foreign-word learning task than monolinguals. ...
... Participants who had a longer digit span were more accurate and faster on the PR task. This confirms previous findings that better phonological STM tasks predict better performance on novel word learning tasks and greater vocabulary size in L1 and L2 learners (e.g., Farnia & Geva, 2011;Gathercole & Baddeley, 1989, 1990Masoura & Gathercole, 1999;Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Service & Kohonen, 1995). ...
Article
This study tested whether individual sensitivity to an auditory perceptual cue called amplitude rise time (ART) facilitates novel word learning. Forty adult native speakers of Polish performed a perceptual task testing their sensitivity to ART, learned associations between nonwords and pictures of common objects, and were subsequently tested on their knowledge with a picture recognition (PR) task. In the PR task participants heard each nonword, followed either by a congruent or incongruent picture, and had to assess if the picture matched the nonword. Word learning efficiency was measured by accuracy and reaction time on the PR task and modulation of the N300 ERP. As predicted, participants with greater sensitivity to ART showed better performance in PR suggesting that auditory sensitivity indeed facilitates learning of novel words. Contrary to expectations, the N300 was not modulated by sensitivity to ART suggesting that the behavioral and ERP measures reflect different underlying processes.
... As such, the present study is the first to have extended the explanatory compass of the perceptualmotor account of verbal serial STM (e.g., Hughes et al., 2016;Jones et al., 2004) to the issue of how short-term processing translates into long-term learning. Some further questions that arise from the present research, then, are the extent to which this theoretical approach might be applied successfully to other verbal sequence learning settings (e.g., paired-associate learning; Papagno & Vallar, 1995) and to the learning of nonverbal (or nonverbalizable) material. For example, it has been shown that just as verbal serial STM tasks tend to engage vocal-articulatory planning processes, short-term recall of a sequence of hand movements (such as in sign-language) relies on the motor planning involved in producing hand gestures: Performance in this domain shows a 'gesture similarity effect' (cf. ...
Article
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Two experiments (N = 154 in total) using the Hebb repetition effect—the enhancement of serial recall performance for a repeated sequence in amongst otherwise non-repeated sequences—reveal a key role for active articulatory-planning processes in verbal sequence learning, contrary to a prominent, phonological-store based, model (Burgess & Hitch, 2006). First, Hebb sequence learning was attenuated when articulatory planning of the to-be-remembered sequence was restricted by articulatory suppression. This was less the case with auditory sequences, however, suggesting that passive perceptual organization processes operating independently of articulation also contribute to the learning of sequences presented auditorily. Second, sequence learning was enhanced for phonologically similar compared to dissimilar items when that learning was particularly reliant on articulatory planning (i.e., with visual sequences). That this enhanced learning was eliminated when articulatory planning was restricted also points to an articulatory basis for this ‘phonological’ similarity effect. Third, an inconsistent temporal grouping of items across instances of the repeating sequence also abolished learning but only when that grouping—based on independent evidence from output response-times during serial recall—was instantiated within an articulatory plan. These results are the first to suggest that verbal sequence learning, and not only verbal serial short-term memory performance, may be explicable by recourse to general-purpose articulatory and perceptual processes.
... 2.1 Working memory WM, understood as a system that enables us to remember and manipulate a small amount of information in the performance of cognitive tasks (Baddeley, 2003(Baddeley, , 2015Baddeley, Gathercole, & Papagno, 1998;Baddeley & Hitch, 1974;Wen, 2015), is currently seen as a key cognitive factor determining the outcomes of L2 learning (e.g., Biedroń & Szczepaniak, 2012;Biedroń & Pawlak, 2016;DeKeyser & Juffs, 2005;DeKeyser & Koeth, 2011;DeKeyser & Suzuki, 2017a;Doughty, Campbell, Mislevy, Bunting, Bowles, & Koeth, 2010;Doughty, 2013;Juffs & Harrington, 2011;Linck et al., 2014;Mackey, Philip, Egi, Fujii, & Tatsumi, 2002;Miyake & Friedman, Working memory as a predictor of explicit and implicit knowledge 259 1998; Papagno & Vallar, 1995;Robinson, 2003;Sawyer & Ranta, 2001;Skehan, 2012;Wen, Mota, & McNeill, 2015;Wen, 2016;Williams, 2012). Moreover, there have been voices that WM may in fact constitute the essence of foreign language aptitude (e.g., Wen & Skehan, 2011;Wen, 2015Wen, , 2016. ...
Article
While there is copious evidence concerning the effectiveness of different instructional options in teaching grammar (e.g., Nassaji, 2017 ; Pawlak, 2017 ), less is known about the extent to which the contribution of pedagogical intervention is mediated by individual factors. The same can be said about the product of instructed but also uninstructed second language acquisition, that is the knowledge of target language grammar. The paper attempts to shed light on one such variable, that is working memory, which has recently been an object of intensive empirical inquiry (e.g., Li, 2017 ; Wen, Biedroń, & Skehan, 2016 ). It reports the results of a study that investigated the role of verbal working memory in the development of explicit and implicit knowledge of the English passive voice. Participants were 156 Polish university students enrolled in a three-year BA program in English. The data on verbal working memory were collected by means of the Polish Listening Span Test (PLSPAN), developed by Zychowicz, Biedroń and Pawlak (2017) . Explicit knowledge was tapped by means of an untimed grammatically judgment test, which focused on reception, and a traditional grammar test, which targeted production. Implicit knowledge was tapped through a timed grammaticality judgment test for reception and a focused communication task ( Ellis, 2003 ) for production. Correlational analysis demonstrated that verbal working memory was a weak predictor of explicit productive and receptive knowledge but not implicit knowledge.
... Specifically, elaborative processing is beneficial for less advanced learners, but repetition training is more effective than elaborative methods for more advanced learners (Barcroft, 2004;Coomber et al., 1986;van Hell & Candia Mahn, 1997). This is consistent with studies that have demonstrated that bilinguals are more adept at novel word learning than monolinguals (e.g., Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009;Papagno & Vallar, 1995). In the context of the RHM-RER, semantic elaboration allows a user to activate background knowledge related to a target word. ...
Article
This review examines and integrates studies of second language (L2) vocabulary instruction with adult learners in a laboratory setting, using a framework provided by a modified version of the Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994), the Revised Hierarchical Model-Repetition Elaboration Retrieval. By examining how various training methods promote or fail to promote the development of high-quality orthographic, phonological, and meaning representations, and strong connections between these representations, we reconceptualize the current body of knowledge, and highlight gaps in the existing literature. We review evidence that training methods that only promote L1 to L2 form connections (e.g., massed repetition) are generally ineffective, but can become highly effective when paired with methods that also strengthen L2 form-meaning connections (e.g., spaced repetition training with retrieval practice or semantic elaboration requiring user-generated responses). We discuss the implications of these findings for researchers and educators interested in improving L2 vocabulary learning outcomes.
... Two of these, that is, the CE and the PL, seem to be the most crucial elements for language acquisition and have been referred to as verbal WM (Wen 2016). Thus, they have been extensively researched within the field of second language acquisition (SLA) as contributing to both the process and outcome of L2 learning (Biedroń & Szczepaniak 2012a;Biedroń & Pawlak 2016;DeKeyser & Juffs 2005;DeKeyser & Koeth 2011;Doughty 2013;Doughty et al. 2010;Juffs & Harrington 2011;Mackey, Philip, Egi, Fujii & Tatsumi 2002;Miyake & Friedman 1998;Papagno & Vallar 1995;Pawlak 2017;Robinson 2003;Sawyer & Ranta 2001;Skehan 2012;Suzuki & DeKeyser 2017;Wen & Skehan 2011;Wen, Mota & McNeill 2015;Wen 2016, Williams 2012. ...
... After training, concrete words were translated more quickly and accurately than abstract words, regardless of learning condition. More recently, Kaushanskaya and Rechtzigel (2012) examined the bilingual word-learning advantage (e.g., Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009;Papagno & Vallar, 1995) for concrete and abstract nouns. They found a significant advantage for concrete over abstract nouns in both monolinguals and bilinguals, though there was a larger concreteness advantage for bilinguals than monolinguals. ...
Article
Typically concrete words are learned better than abstract words (Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012), and nouns are learned better than verbs (Kauschke & Stenneken, 2008). However, most studies on concreteness have not manipulated grammatical class (and vice versa), leaving the relationship between the two unclear. Therefore, in two experiments we examined the effects of grammatical class and concreteness simultaneously in foreign language vocabulary learning. In Experiment 1, English speakers learned ‘foreign language’ words (English pseudowords) mapped to concrete and abstract nouns and verbs. In Experiment 2, English speakers learned German words with the same procedure. Overall, the typical advantages for concrete words and nouns were observed. Hierarchical regression analyses provided evidence that the grammatical class effect is separable from the concreteness effect. This result challenges a strict concreteness-based source of noun/verb differences. The results also suggest that the influences of concreteness and grammatical class may vary across language measures and tasks.
... Kaushanskaya and Marian (2009) found that bilinguals were better than monolinguals at learning novel words in a foreign language. The authors argued that bilingualism leads to the development of a phonological memory system that is more "efficient," and hence allows listeners to better remember new terms, even when the phonological information is not familiar (Papagno & Vallar, 1995). However, a more recent word-learning study in which monolingual and bilingual adults were matched in their phonological memory capacity still revealed the same group differences in performance (Kaushanskaya, 2012), suggesting that phonological memory was not the reason for the group differences. ...
Article
The question of whether bilingualism leads to advantages or disadvantages in linguistic abilities has been debated for many years. It is unclear whether growing up with one versus two languages is related to variations in the ability to process speech in the presence of background noise. We present findings from a word recognition and a word learning task with monolingual and bilingual adults. Bilinguals appear to be less accurate than monolinguals at identifying familiar words in the presence of white noise. However, the bilingual “disadvantage” identified during word recognition is not present when listeners were asked to acquire novel word-object relations that were trained either in noise or in quiet. This work suggests that linguistic experience and the demands associated with the type of task both play a role in the ability for listeners to process speech in noise.
... Some researchers tried to find relationships between components of WM and learning a foreign language. For instance, Papagno and Vallar (1995) compared Italian polyglots with monolinguals in terms of working memory and their subcomponents. The findings confirmed that there is in fact a "close relationship between the capacity of phonological memory and the acquisition of foreign languages" (abstract). ...
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The impact, effect and agreement of working memory on second language learning has received some attention in L2 research. However, there seems to be a massive gap regarding the reverse, i.e. the effect of second language learning on working memory. Cognitive advantages of learning a second language are presumed to derive from the requirement to continuously control the activation of lexical representations from the non-target language in a way that they have no interference with the ongoing language processing (Green, 1998). The present study draws on one of the most prominent models for working memory put forward by Baddeley and Hitch (1974). This study attempts to assess the impact of learning a second language on the aforementioned components of the participants' short term memory. For the sake of the study, 48 participants (aged14-16 at the beginning of the study) were selected out of which 24 had just started attending English language classes in Zabansara Language Institute and the other half had been studying English in the same institute for 3 years in Astaneh, Guilan. The instruments employed were the Non-word test, the digit span test, the questionnaire based on Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale; WAIS (1930) and Corsi Block Tapping-Test (1970) to assess the short term memory of the participants with different language learning backgrounds. The statistical analyses of the results provide evidence in support of the effect of background of learning English as a second language on the improvement of short term memory.
... phonologique, on peut déduire que cette dernière est probablement largement mise à contribution lors de l'apprentissage d'une langue étrangère alors que les connaissances lexicales antérieures joueraient un rôle minime. L'étude menée par Papagno et Vallar (1995) sur des étudiants universitaires polyglottes semble confirmer ces résultats. Comparés à des étudiants universitaires monolingues pour toute une série de tâches mnésiques, les étudiants polyglottes sont supérieurs dans toutes les tâches de mémoire phonologique à court terme (empan de chiffres et répétition de non-mots). ...
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Certaines études neuropsychologiques de patients cérébro-lésés suggèrent que la mémoire de travail contribue à l'apprentissage à long terme de structures phonologiques non-familières. Les données disponibles sur des enfants normaux indiquent que la mémoire phonologique à court terme influence l'acquisition de nouveaux mots de vocabulaire. Par ailleurs, on sait que les personnes trisomiques 21 ont une mémoire phonologique à court terme déficiente ainsi que des connaissances lexicales limitées. Dès lors, étudier le lien entre ces deux variables dans la trisomie 21 s'imposait. Nos résultats indiquent que chez ces sujets, tout comme chez les enfants normaux, le niveau de développement lexical semble étroitement lié à la mémoire phonologique à court terme et plus particulièrement aux capacités de répétition de non-mots. Some neuropsychological studies of brain damaged patients with memory deficits suggest that phonological short-term memory directly contribute to the long-term learning of non-familiar phonological structures. Studies of typical young children lead to the same conclusion. The phonological short-term memory abilities directly influence the way young children acquired new vocabulary items. As Down's syndrome people generally show an impairment of phonological short-term memory and a lack in lexical knowledge, we decided to study the relationship between both variables in this population. Our results indicate that in Down's syndrome subjects, as in typically developing children, the subjects' vocabulary level seems to be linked to the phonological short-term memory abilities and more specially to nonword repetition. 3.
... W tym samym roku Skehan (1998) stwierdził, że osoby utalentowane językowo nie różnią się jakościowo od przeciętnie zdolnych, czyli nie posiadają żadnych specyficznych cech -z jednym wyjątkiem: nadzwyczajnych zasobów pamięci. Teza ta znajduje potwierdzenie praktycznie we wszystkich badaniach utalentowanych osób (Novoa, Fein i Obler, 1988;Schneiderman i Desmarais, 1988;Ioup i in., 1994;Papagno i Vallar, 1995;Biedroń, 2012;Biedroń i Pawlak, 2016), poliglotów (Erard, 2012;Hyltenstam, 2014) i sawantów (Smith i in., 2011;Treffert, 2011). W grupie osób utalentowanych klasyczne studium przypadku -29-letni CJ znający biegle sześć języków -stanowi przykład ponadprzeciętnych zdolności pamięciowych (Novoa, Fein i Obler, 1988). ...
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Working memory is now one of the most frequently studied individual differences in various fields of science, including cognitive and developmental psychology, neuroscience, and second language acquisition. It affects cognitive functioning, including all aspects of learning a foreign language, and its deficits severely impair learning outcomes. This article focuses on practical application of this knowledge (see Gregersen & MacIntyre, 2014) in a language classroom. To this end, we first present a definition of a working memory and its components altogether with their relevance for various areas of foreign language learning. This is followed by a review of research on linguistically gifted individuals, polyglots, and savants as well as bilinguals from the perspective of memory aptitude. The last section offers some pedagogical implications, such as aptitude-treatment interaction and working memory training. The article ends with suggestions for further research in this area.
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The phonological component of the working memory system is specialized in maintaining a sequence of verbal items (digits, letters, words, pseudowords) over a very short period of time. Therefore, a central issue has been why we are provided with such ability, and what is its functional role. A series of studies on healthy people, on children learning their mother tongue, on children and young adults learning a second language and, crucially, on neuropsychological patients with a selective deficit of auditory-verbal short-term memory has clearly shown that a fundamental function is to maintain a new phonological representation for a period of time long enough to build permanent phonological representations. This is exactly what happens when we learn a new language. In this chapter I will report converging evidence involving different languages showing how this important result has been obtained.
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This article reports on a study that used the online MULTITEACH questionnaire to examine the relationship between the multilingual pedagogies 111 language teachers, employed in upper-secondary schools in Norway and Russia, reported implementing, their beliefs about how multilingualism benefitted students and teachers, and their self-assessed ability to teach language aspects and skills. The study also investigated whether sociobiographical variables and participants’ language habits outside of work affected their beliefs about multilingualism benefitting their students and implementation of multilingual pedagogies. The findings revealed that participants utilized multilingual pedagogies least frequently when teaching in first language contexts and that those who used foreign languages outside of work applied such pedagogies more frequently than participants who did not. Moreover, their beliefs about multilingualism benefitting their students were positively predicted by their beliefs about multilingualism benefitting teachers and negatively predicted by their support of the monolingual approach to language learning and teaching.
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The present study investigated claims that learning vocabulary in an unfamiliar language is more efficient in bilinguals than in monolinguals and the possible effects of language proficiency and dominance. In Experiment 1, monolingual (n = 48) and bilingual participants (n = 96) learned Japanese words paired with English translations and completed cued-recall and associative-recognition tests. Accuracy did not differ across monolingual and bilingual or language dominance groups. Nevertheless, in bilinguals, higher English proficiency was associated with higher accuracy. In Experiment 2, Japanese-English bilinguals (n = 40) learned Spanish-Japanese word pairs, and higher Japanese proficiency was associated with higher accuracy. Associative strategies were reported at a higher rate in bilingual than in monolingual participants but were not associated with more accurate performance. Careful comparisons of the present and previous results support the conclusion that higher proficiency in the language through which bilinguals learn foreign vocabulary enhances associative memory, but bilingualism itself does not.
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Under a recall model in which presentations and rehearsals are treated as equivalent encoding events, we investigated whether rehearsal efficiency differences explain the effects of word frequency and bilingual proficiency on the temporal dynamics of rehearsal and free recall. Experiments 1 and 3 were conducted with monolingual English speakers, and Experiments 2 and 4 were conducted with Spanish-English bilinguals with matched age, education, and socioeconomic status. In Experiments 1 and 2, lower word frequency, lower proficiency, and bilingualism were associated with less accurate free recall of items from early serial positions, beginning recall with items from later serial positions, and making fewer transitions to items from later or adjacent serial positions. These effects were replicated and rehearsal-based explanations were validated in Experiments 3 and 4 using a rehearse-aloud protocol. With lower frequency words or lower language proficiency, rehearsal was less efficient with fewer rehearsals between item presentations. As a result, items from early serial positions had fewer rehearsals that stopped earlier in the study sequence, less spacing between repeated rehearsals, and fewer transitions to items from later or adjacent serial positions. Rehearsal-contingent analyses revealed that these rehearsal patterns were associated with less accurate recall, beginning recall with items from later serial positions, and consistent transition patterns from rehearsal to recall. These patterns support a model in which presentations and rehearsals are treated as equivalent encoding events and the effects of word frequency and language proficiency on recall accuracy are mediated by less efficient rehearsal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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This study examined the role of phonological short-term memory (PSTM) in L2 reading comprehension at three proficiency levels. For this purpose, overall 140 EFL learners were employed at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. They were all studying English as a foreign language in a private language school. All participants completed an English nonword recognition task, as a measure of PSTM. They also completed measures of reading proficiency, including a cloze test, a short- answer comprehension test, and a reading recall test. The data at three proficiency levels were collected and analyzed. The results of this study indicated that PSTM may employ a different type of cognitive resources and this is consistent at three different proficiency levels suggesting that proficiency level cannot play a role between PSTM and L2 reading comprehension. Keywords: Phonological short-term memory; L2 reading; L2 proficiency, English non-word recognition task
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People assume that objects labelled alike belong to the same category. Here we asked whether the role of labels in categorization depends on individuals' language experience, linguistic abilities, and/or cognitive abilities. We compared monolinguals' and bilinguals' use of phonologically licit words (zeg), illicit words (gsz), and non-linguistic frames (in addition to a baseline condition with no additional cues) in forming novel categories. For both groups, licit words affected categorization more than frames, especially in the absence of perceptual evidence for category boundaries; illicit words also shifted categorization preferences compared to frames. Furthermore, linguistic abilities predicted reliance on both licit and illicit words, and bilingualism predicted reliance on illicit words in categorization. Thus, in both monolinguals and bilinguals, novel (and even unconventional) linguistic labels act as unique category markers but their use in categorization depends on individual language processing skills (and, in some cases, exposure to a second language).
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The production effect—whereby reading words aloud improves memory for those words relative to reading them silently—was investigated in two experiments with 7‐ to 10‐year‐old children residing in Brisbane, Australia. Experiment 1 (n = 41) involved familiar printed words, with words read aloud or silently appearing either in mixed‐ or blocked‐list formats in a within‐subject design. Recognition for words read aloud was better than for those read silently, an effect consistent across both list formats. These results were confirmed in Experiment 2 (n = 40) using longer lists of printed novel nonwords. Final analyses indicated that the production effect was comparable for words and nonwords. Findings are discussed in relation to the distinctiveness account and the use of production as a mnemonic in children.
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Bilinguals may be better than monolinguals at word learning due to their increased experience with language learning. In addition, bilinguals that have languages that are orthotactically different could be more used to dissimilar orthotactic patterns. The current study examines how bilinguals with languages that are orthotactically similar and dissimilar and monolinguals learn novel words that violate or respect the orthotactic legality of the languages they know and how this learning may be affected by the similarity between the bilinguals' two languages. In Experiment 1, three groups of children were tested: monolinguals, Spanish-Basque bilinguals (dissimilar orthotactic languages), and Spanish-Catalan bilinguals (similar orthotactic languages). After an initial word learning phase, they were tested in a recall task and a recognition task. Results showed that Spanish-Basque bilingual children performed differently than the other two groups. While Spanish monolinguals and Spanish-Catalan bilinguals recognized illegal words worse than legal words, Spanish-Basque bilinguals showed equal performance in learning illegal and legal patterns. A replication study conducted with two new groups of Spanish-Basque children (one group with high Basque proficiency and one group with a lower proficiency) indicated that the effects were not driven by the proficiency in the second language since a similar performance on legal and illegal patterns was observed in both groups. In Experiment 2, two groups of adults, monolinguals and Spanish-Basque bilinguals, were tested with the same task used in Experiment 1. The effect seen in children seems to be absent in adults. Spanish-Basque bilingual adults showed better overall learning performance than monolinguals, irrespective of the illegality of the items. Differences between groups could be due to the effect of having acquired literacy and linguistic competence.
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Three tasks were used to predict English learning by Finnish children over a three-year period. In the pseudoword repetition task the pupils had to repeat aloud tape-recorded pseudowords sounding like Finnish or English. In the pseudoword copying task the pupils saw strings of letters resembling Finnish or English words and copied them when they had disappeared from view. When comparing syntactic-semantic structures, the pupils had to find the syntactically matching pairs from two sets of Finnish sentences. Repetition and copying accuracy and the ability to compare syntactic-semantic structures predicted English learning. Intercorrelations between test scores and English and mathematics grades suggest that repetition and copying accuracy were specifically related to language learning. It is concluded that the ability to represent unfamiliar phonological material in working memory underlies the acquisition of new vocabulary items in foreign-language learning.
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Norms are provided for verbal and visuo-spatial immediate memory span, two tasks widely used in the clinical assessment of short-term memory and its neurological disorders. Data have been collected from 1355 male and female adult subjects, with various educational backgrounds and a 20-99 years age range. Span shows a major decrement after the late sixties and is affected by educational level. Male subjects score better on the spatial task. Data collected from 1112 male and female children, 4-to-10 year-old, show that span increases with age and boys score better on the spatial test.
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The investigation of a patient with a selective impairment of phonological short-term memory has recently provided evidence that this system may be involved in long-term learning of novel words, for which a pre-existing semantic representation is not available (Baddeley, Papagno, & Vallar, 1988). The present series of experiments in normal subjects explored this hypothesis. We assessed the effects of phonological similarity and item length, which reflect the operation of the phonological short-term store and the rehearsal component of verbal memory, upon paired associate long-term learning of auditorily presented words and non-words. Phonological similarity affected the learning of novel words more than known words (Experiment 1); when a delay was interposed between presentation and recall, the disruptive effect was confined to novel words (Experiment 2). Also word length disrupted the learning of novel words, but not of known words (Experiment 3). These results tie in with neuropsychological evidence to suggest a role for phonological short-term memory in the learning of new words, and they have developmental implications for the study of language acquisition.
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Sequences of 6 letters of the alphabet were visually presented for immediate recall to 387 subjects. Errors showed a systematic relationship to original stimuli. This is held to meet a requirement of the decay theory of immediate memory. The same letter vocabulary was used in a test in which subjects were required to identify the letters spoken against a white noise background. A highly significant correlation was found between letters which confused in the listening test, and letters which confused in recall. The role of neurological noise in recall is discussed in relation to these results. It is further argued that information theory is inadequate to explain the memory span, since the nature of the stimulus set, which can be defined quantitatively, as well as the information per item, is likely to be a determining factor.
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The study concerns S.R., a graduate student with a specific deficit in short-term phonological memory, whose performance on a range of memory and learning tasks is compared to a group of six fellow students. S.R. performed at a consistently lower level than the controls on a range of tasks involving short-term verbal memory, including digit span, nonword repetition, memory for dissimilar and similar consonants and words, and memory for words differing in length. He nevertheless showed normal effects of phonological similarity and word length, suggesting that his phonological loop was qualitatively normal. Short-term memory for visual patterns was normal. Long-term memory was tested using the Doors and People Test. This showed excellent visual recognition and pattern learning memory, coupled with poor performance on recognition or recall of names. By analogy with a patient with an acquired deficit in short-term phonological memory, it was predicted that S.R. would show normal verbal learning of pairs of meaningful English words, but would be impaired in his capacity for new phonological learning as reflected in the acquisition of Finnish vocabulary. This proved to be the case, providing further evidence for the role of the phonological loop in long-term learning.
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Investigated the possibility of a causal relationship between phonological memory and vocabulary acquisition by testing the abilities of 19 5–6 yr old children high and 18 low in repetition performance to learn labels for unfamiliar toy animals. Low-repetition Ss were slower at learning phonologically unfamiliar names such as "Pimas" for the toys, although there was no difference in learning speed for familiar names such as "Thomas." The 2 groups also differed 1 day later in their retention of the labels that had initially been learned. Results suggest that immediate memory processes are directly involved in the learning of new vocabulary items in young children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The revision of the Wechsler-Bellevue Adult Intelligence Scale retains the type of item categories but has numerous changes in the items. Standardization is based on a stratified sample of 1700 adults ages 16 to 64. Additional norms are given for ages above 64 based on a different group of subjects. Reliabilities for verbal, performance and full scale IQ's are .96, .93, and .97, and for the subtests range from .65 to .96. Manual includes directions for administering, IQ tables, and scaled score tables. Officially the title is to be abbreviated WAIS. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two experiments with 48 23–65 yr olds investigated the suggestion in trace-decay theory that rapid presentation should lead to good immediate memory. It is suggested that this has not been previously supported by empirical evidence because articulatory rehearsal allows functional rate of presentation or re-presentation to be independent of nominal presentation rate. In the present experiments, it was predicted that if rehearsal was prevented by articulatory suppression, then digit span would be greater with rapid than with slow presentation. In Exp I, suppression during presentation, but not during recall, led to an advantage for rapid presentation. Results of Exp II show that, if suppression occurred during both presentation and recall, this advantage was lost. Findings suggest that rapid presentation is advantageous only if items can be retrieved within the 1–2 sec required for trace decay. Thus, memory span is a function of 2 factors, the rate at which the trace of an individual item fades and the rate at which the S is able to refresh the memory trace by rehearsal. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
It has recently been suggested that the developmental association between nonword repetition performance and vocabulary knowledge reflects the contribution of phonological memory processes to vocabulary acquisition (e.g., Gathercole & Baddeley, 1989). An alternative account of the association is that the child uses existing vocabulary knowledge to support memory for nonwords. The present article tests between these two alternative accounts by evaluating the role of phonological memory and linguistic factors in nonword repetition. In a longitudinal database, repetition accuracy in 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds was found to be sensitive to two independent factors: a phonological memory factor, nonword length, and a linguistic factor, wordlikeness. To explain these combined influences, it is suggested that repeating nonwords involves temporary phonological memory storage which may be supported by either a specific lexical analogy or by an appropriate abstract phonological frame generated from structurally similar vocabulary items.
Article
A patient with grossly defective short-term memory but fluent speech was studied in order to pinpoint the locus of the deficit. Her immediate memory for consonant sequences showed a clear phonological similarity effect with auditory presentation, but no effect of similarity when presentation was visual. She showed no effect of articulatory suppression and no effect of word length on span, both of which suggest that she was not using subvocal rehearsal. A further test showed that this was not due to her inability to articulate rapidly since her rate of repeating the number sequence 1–10 and of the alphabet was comparable with normal control subjects. These results are interpreted in terms of the articulatory loop component of a working memory model. It is suggested that the loop comprises a phonological store, with obligatory access by auditory spoken material, and optional access through the control process of subvocal rehearsal. Our patient appears to suffer from a defect of the phonological store. This removes the normal advantage gained from using subvocal rehearsal, and induces her to rely instead on visual storage.
Article
Data from foreign language vocabulary learning in a short-term memory patient, and native language vocabulary learning in children suggest that the short-term phonological store plays an important role in long-term learning. The present study used articulatory suppression to explore the role of the phonological loop system of working memory in the acquisition by adults of foreign language vocabulary. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that articulatory suppression disrupts the learning of Russian vocabulary, but not native language paired associates, by Italian subjects. Two apparently equivalent experiments, however, using English subjects failed to demonstrate the predicted disruption of Russian vocabulary learning by articulatory suppression. This was shown to be attributable to the greater association value of the Russian words to the English subjects. Two final experiments using English subjects replicated the Italian results, showing a differential disruption of the learning of unfamiliar material, when this comprises either CVC-CVC nonsense items, or Finnish words that were selected to be very dissimilar to English. It is concluded that the phonological loop concept of working memory is used in foreign language vocabulary acquisition, but can be circumvented if the material allows semantic associations to be created.
Article
A number of experiments explored the hypothesis that immediate memory span is not constant, but varies with the length of the words to be recalled. Results showed: (1) Memory span is inversely related to word length across a wide range of materials; (2) When number of syllables and number of phonemes are held constant, words of short temporal duration are better recalled than words of long duration; (3) Span could be predicted on the basis of the number of words which the subject can read in approximately 2 sec; (4) When articulation is suppressed by requiring the subject to articulate an irrelevant sound, the word length effect disappears with visual presentation, but remains when presentation is auditory. The results are interpreted in terms of a phonemically-based store of limited temporal capacity, which may function as an output buffer for speech production, and as a supplement to a more central working memory system.
Article
Since the 1960s, there has been controversy as to whether long-term learning might depend on some form of temporary short-term storage. Evidence that patients with grossly impaired memory span might show normal learning was, however, particularly problematic for such views. We reexamine the question by studying the learning capacity of a patient, P.V., with a very pure deficit in short-term memory. A series of experiments compare her learning capacity with that of matched controls. The first experiment shows that her capacity to learn pairs of meaningful words is within the normal range. A second experiment examines her capacity to learn to associate a familiar word with an unfamiliar item from another language. With auditory presentation she is completely unable to perform this task. Further studies show that when visual presentation is used she shows evidence of learning, but is clearly impaired. It is suggested that short-term phonological storage is important for learning unfamiliar verbal material, but is not essential for forming associations between meaningful items that are already known. Implications for the possible role of a phonological short-term store in the acquisition of vocabulary by children are discussed.
Article
Two experiments are described which demonstrate a long-term memory contribution to memory span. In the first experiment nonwords were used because they lack a long-term memory representation. Memory span was lower for nonwords than words and in both cases a linear function related recall to speech rate for items of differing spoken durations. The function for nonwords had an equivalent slope (interpreted as reflecting a contribution from a subvocal rehearsal process) but a lower intercept (interpreted as reflecting a contribution from a long-term memory component). The second experiment compared the spans for Italian and English words. The span was lower for Italian words than for English words, due to a depression in the intercept of the recall-speech rate function, but learning the English translations of these words increased subjects' memory span for them.
Article
This study explores the hypothesis that the short-term phonological storage component of working memory may play a role in the acquisition of vocabulary by young children. In a longitudinal design, the vocabulary skills of 104 children entering school between the ages of 4 and 5 were tested and retested 1 year later. On both occasions, phonological memory was investigated by requiring a child to repeat back nonwords varying in length and complexity, while nonverbal intelligence and reading were assessed using standard tests. The phonological memory score was highly correlated with vocabulary at both age 4 (r = .525) and age 5 (r = .572), in both cases accounting for a substantial and significant proportion of the variance when all other predictors are removed by stepwise regression. Phonological memory at age 4 also accounted for a significant amount of variance in vocabulary score at age 5, over and above that accounted for by the vocabulary score the previous year. Although these relationships are necessarily correlational in nature, the data are certainly consistent with the view that phonological memory is involved in the acquisition of new vocabulary in children. Possible mechanisms accounting for this relationship are discussed.
Article
The case of a left-hemisphere damaged patient with an impairment of auditory verbal memory span is described. The neuropsychological study showed a dissociation between short-term and long-term auditory verbal memory, which may be attributed to a selective defect of auditory verbal short-term memory. Since a tachistoscopic study displayed a short-term memory superiority of the left hemisphere, it can be argued that the performance for visual verbal stimuli may still be held by the left hemisphere, albeit computerized tomography showed a left-hemisphere lesion involving the whole language area.
Article
We report the study of a 23-year-old Italian girl, FF, with Down's syndrome (trisomy 21). FF showed a remarkably good developmental acquisition of Italian language and vocabulary and was able to learn English and French, although the latter with less proficiency. FF showed an entirely preserved function of the phonological short-term store and articulatory rehearsal components of verbal short-term memory. By contrast, she was impaired in a wide range of tasks assessing verbal and non-verbal reasoning, visuo-spatial perception and memory, and verbal long-term memory. These findings, in line with evidence from brain-damaged patients, normal subjects and children, suggest that phonological short-term memory plays a crucial role in vocabulary acquisition, which may occur in the presence of substantial deficits of general intelligence and episodic memory.
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