Bidirectional cross-linguistic influence in event conceptualization? Expressions of Path among Japanese learners of English

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Typological differences in expressions of motion are argued to have consequences for event conceptualization. In SLA, studies generally find transfer of L1 expressions and accompanying event construals, suggesting resistance to the restructuring of event conceptualization. The current study tackles such restructuring in SLA within the context of bidirectional cross-linguistic influence, focusing on expressions of Path in English and Japanese. We probe the effects of lexicalization patterns on event construal by focusing on different Path components: Source, Via and Goal. Crucially, we compare the same speakers performing both in the L1 and L2 to ascertain whether the languages influence each other. We argue for the potential for restructuring, even at modest levels of L2 proficiency, by showing that not only do L1 patterns shape construal in the L2, but that L2 patterns may subtly and simultaneously broaden construal in the L1 within an individual learner.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • bidirectional cross-linguistic influence, conceptualization, Path of motion, Japanese, English
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-94
JournalBilingualism: Language and Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Published online Oct 12, 2010 The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003), Humanities Lab (015101200)

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