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Bilingualism and conversational understanding in young children

Siegal, M., Iozzi, L. and Surian, L. (2009) Bilingualism and conversational understanding in young children. Cognition, 110 (1). pp. 115-122. ISSN 0010-0277

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Abstract

The purpose of the two experiments reported here was to investigate whether bilingualism confers an advantage on children’s conversational understanding. A total of 163 children aged 3 to 6 years were given a Conversational Violations Test to determine their ability to identify responses to questions as violations of Gricean maxims of conversation (to be informative and avoid redundancy, speak the truth, and be relevant and polite). Though comparatively delayed in their L2 vocabulary, children who were bilingual in Italian and Slovenian (with Slovenian as the dominant language) generally outperformed those who were either monolingual in Italian or Slovenian. We suggest that bilingualism can be accompanied by an enhanced ability to appreciate effective communicative responses.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Elsevier Science. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Cognition. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Bilingualism; Cognitive development; Conversational processes, Pragmatics
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2009 10:29
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 16:36
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2008.11.002
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.cognition.2008.11.002
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7929

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