You are here: Home Publications Event conceptualization by early Dutch-German bilinguals: Insights from linguistic and eye-tracking data

Event conceptualization by early Dutch-German bilinguals: Insights from linguistic and eye-tracking data

Flecken, M. (2011). Event conceptualization by early Dutch-German bilinguals: Insights from linguistic and eye-tracking data. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14(1), 61-77. doi:10.1017/S1366728910000027.
This experimental study investigates event construal by early Dutch–German bilinguals, as reflected in their oral depiction of everyday events shown in video clips. The starting point is the finding that the expression of an aspectual perspective (progressive aspect), and its consequences for event construal, is dependent on the extent to which means are grammaticalized, as in English (e.g., progressive aspect) or not, as in German (von Stutterheim & Carroll, 2006). The present study shows that although speakers of Dutch and German have comparable means to mark this aspectual concept, at a first glance at least, they differ markedly both in the contexts as well as in the extent to which this aspectual perspective is selected, being highly frequent in specific contexts in Dutch, but not in German. The present experimental study investigates factors that lead to the use of progressive aspect by early bilinguals, using video clips (with different types of events varied along specific dimensions on a systematic basis). The study includes recordings of eye movements, and examines how far an aspectual perspective drives allocation of attention during information intake while viewing the stimulus material, both for and while speaking. Although the bilinguals have acquired the means to express progressive aspect in Dutch, their use shows a pattern that differs from monolingual Dutch speakers. Interestingly, these differences are reflected in different patterns in the direction of attention (eye movements) when verbalizing information on events.
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn