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    The relationship between bi/multilingualism, nativeness, proficiency and multimodal emotion recognition ability

    Lorette, Pernelle and Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2019) The relationship between bi/multilingualism, nativeness, proficiency and multimodal emotion recognition ability. International Journal of Bilingualism 23 (6), pp. 1502-1516. ISSN 1367-0069.

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    Aims and Objectives: The primary aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between visual–vocal–verbal emotion recognition ability (ERA) and multilingualism – that is, both bilingual first language (L1) acquisition and the level of multilingualism operationalised as the number of languages one can speak. Besides these two factors, we also consider nativeness and proficiency as possible predictors of ERA. Methodology: One-thousand-two-hundred-and-twenty participants completed a survey online consisting of a sociobiographical background questionnaire, an English lexical test and an emotion recognition test including six stimuli. For each of the six audiovisual recordings, participants had to indicate which emotion they thought the L1 English speaker was conveying – happiness, sadness, anger, (positive) surprise, fear, disgust or no/neutral emotion. Data and Analysis: An individual ERA score was calculated for each participant. Correlations between ERA and the different variables were computed – including interactions – and significant correlations were fed into a linear regression model. Findings: The number of spoken languages was unrelated to ERA in our sample. The data revealed an interaction between BFLA and nativeness: bi/multilingually raised English second or foreign language (LX) users outperformed monolingually raised LX users, but bi/multilingually raised L1 users of English scored lower than monolingually raised L1 users. Proficiency was significantly related to ERA. Originality: This study points to a bilingual advantage in emotion recognition in English for participants with specific linguistic profiles. Participants who grew up with two languages from birth had an advantage if it did not include English. The advantage seemed to be cancelled out among bi/multilingually raised English L1 users, possibly due to interferences from their other L1(s) or L1 culture(s). Significance: This study contributes to the scarce literature on bilingual advantage in the affective domain and offers a nuanced view on bilingualism and ERA.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Bilingualism, emotion recognition, proficiency, bilingual advantage
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2018 08:47
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:45


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