August 29, 2023
Prof. Irina Sekerina (and Natalia Meir, David Anaki, Bar-Ilan University, Israel) received a BSF-NSF (United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation) grant for the project entitled "Language processing in bilingual children in L1 and L2: Prediction and integration of morphosyntactic information" 2023-2027 ($193,600.00).
SUMMARY: The proposed project will chart new territories in child bilingual language processing by conducting a set of three innovative experiments aiming to investigate mechanisms of prediction and integration of morphosyntactic information in bilingual children. We will test whether and how processes of prediction and integration of morphosyntactic information are different in bilingual children as compared to their monolingual peers. Possible L1-L2 interaction will be addressed within the Unified Competition Model (MacWhinney, 2008, 2012). We will also test whether prediction and integration during spoken sentence comprehension rely on production as per the Prediction-by-Production Account (Pickering & Gambi, 2018) or alternatively, whether bilinguals show a production-comprehension asymmetry (Grimm et al., 2011; Prévost & White, 2000).
Prof. Sekerina will give a keynote talk at the RUEG Conference 2023 - Linguistic Variability in Heritage Language Research (26-28 Sept. 2023) in Berlin: https://www.linguistik.hu-berlin.de/en/institut-en/professuren-en/rueg/networking-1/rueg-conference-2021/rueg-conferene-2023-linguistic-variability-in-heritage-language-research. The title of her keynote talk is "How corpus and experimental studies of heritage languages can inform each other."
ABSTRACT: Knowledge about heritage language (HL) grammars is dependent on a large amount of (psycho)linguistic resources of three types (Keuleers & Morielli, 2020): (1) corpora that contain objective data about properties of HLs, (2) behavioral experiments that rely on design and stimuli provided by researchers; and (3) abstract concepts, such theories, formalisms, and algorithms. In this talk, I will describe methodological advances in how these resources form a dynamic system in the field of HL bilingualism. I will illustrate (1) with our new Brazilian Portuguese-Russian corpus (BraPoRus, Sekerina et al., 2023) of elderly bilingual heritage Russian speakers living in Brazil and compare it to RUEG (Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations), and (2) with the eye-tracking experiments in the Visual World Paradigm that can be conducted with heritage speakers in-person and online (eye-tracking without an eye tracker, Özsoy et al., 2023). I will conclude that both types of resources are suitable and necessary to study heritage speakers’ grammars.