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Title: More limitations to monolingualism: Bilinguals outperform monolinguals in implicit word learning
Authors: Escudero, P
Mulak, K.E
Fu, C.S.L 
Singh, L 
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Citation: Escudero, P, Mulak, K.E, Fu, C.S.L, Singh, L (2016). More limitations to monolingualism: Bilinguals outperform monolinguals in implicit word learning. Frontiers in Psychology 7 (AUG) : 1218. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: To succeed at cross-situational word learning, learners must infer word-object mappings by attending to the statistical co-occurrences of novel objects and labels across multiple encounters. While past studies have investigated this as a learning mechanism for infants and monolingual adults, bilinguals' cross-situational word learning abilities have yet to be tested. Here, we compared monolinguals' and bilinguals' performance on a cross-situational word learning paradigm that featured phonologically distinct word pairs (e.g., BON-DEET) and phonologically similar word pairs that varied by a single consonant or vowel segment (e.g., BON-TON, DEET-DIT, respectively). Both groups learned the novel word-referent mappings, providing evidence that cross-situational word learning is a learning strategy also available to bilingual adults. Furthermore, bilinguals were overall more accurate than monolinguals. This supports that bilingualism fosters a wide range of cognitive advantages that may benefit implicit word learning. Additionally, response patterns to the different trial types revealed a relative difficulty for vowel minimal pairs than consonant minimal pairs, replicating the pattern found in monolinguals by Escudero et al. (2016) in a different English accent. Specifically, all participants failed to learn vowel contrasts differentiated by vowel height. We discuss evidence for this bilingual advantage as a language-specific or general advantage. © 2016 Escudero, Mulak, Fu and Singh.
Source Title: Frontiers in Psychology
ISSN: 16641078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01218
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