L2 acquisition
December 5, 2008
Methods of Analyzing L2 acquisition
1.
2.
3.
Corpora
Surveys/interviews
Experimental
3. Experimental
Most experiments we have talked about in class
have also been used to examine L2
learners/bilinguals
Experiments we haven’t looked at yet:
a.
Grammaticality Judgment Tests
b.
Brain imaging
c.
Aphasia
b. Brain imaging
Two types of Brain Imaging
A. Electromagnetic Techniques

ERP: Event-related potentials

MEG: Magneto-encephalography
Measurements: ERP & MEG are direct
measures of neural activity

The activity of groups of neurons can
be picked up directly
B. Hemodynamic Techniques

PET: Positron Emission Topography

fMRI: functional Magnetic
Resonance Imaging
Measurements: PET & fMRI are
indirect measures of neural activity

Blood flow increases as activity
increases
C. Aphasia
A. ERPs
A. ERPs
Examines Electrical Pulses while
listening to/seeing language
Can examine ways that listeners process language (even
violations) See variation of normal and non-normal language processing
A. ERPs
Do musicians have an advantage for learning a language?
Participants: Adults: 9 musicians et 9 non-musicians
Children: 10 musicians et 10 non-musicians
Age: 7-9 yr (average: 8)
Task : is last note / word strange ?
Remember : can measure if listeners can “pick up”
incongruous language
Weak = slight strangeness
Strong=strong strangeness
Event-Related brain Potentials
Music
Musicians
Non-musicians
-10 µV
500 ms
Cz
Cz
Strong incongruity
Congruous
Weak incongruity
+10
-10
Event-Related brain Potentials
Language
Musicians
Non-musicians
-10 µV
500 ms
Cz
Strong incongruity Cz
Weak incongruity
Congruous
+10
-10
b. Brain Imaging
what fMRI pictures look like. . .
Pure word deafness
1. no speech
comprehension, but
normal reaction to
sounds; e.g., car
horn, doorbell
2. own speech is
normal
3. read and write
normally, so can
follow written
instructions
4. bilateral damage to
primary auditory
cortex
b. Brain imaging
Are your two languages going to be located in different
areas of the brain depending on when you learned
your L2?
Kim, Reilkin, Lee, & Hirsch, 1997
 Early bilinguals (childhood, before age 8)
 Late bilinguals (adulthood, mostly after age 20)
 Task, imagine describing a scenario in one language
vs. another
 fMRI scans during imagined speaking task
b. Brain imaging
Kim, Relkin, Kim, & Hirsch (1997). Nature.
b. Brain imaging
Kim, Relkin, Kim, & Hirsch (1997). Nature.
Late bilingual brain
b. Brain imaging
Kim, Relkin, Kim, & Hirsch (1997). Nature.
Early bilingual brain
b. Brain imaging
What if you heard Korean your first 3 years of
life, then were adopted, then are re-exposed to
Korean—can you recognize it? Does your
brain process it as language?
Ventureyra , Pallier & Hi-Yon Yoo (2004):
Native French and native “Korean” speakers
listened to Polish, Japanese and Korean . . .
Can you perceive a language you
haven’t heard for a long time?
No—French group never exposed to Korean perceives
voiceless Korean consonants just like Korean group
c. Aphasia



Two most common types of aphasia?
Broca’s
Wernike’s
What happens when there is damage to these two
areas of the brain?
c. Aphasia
Global aphasia: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/3726533/10242302
http://s46.photobucket.com/albums/f123/chelsey37/?action=view&current=aphasia.flv
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=aphasia&emb=0&aq=f
&aq=f#q=aphasia%20&emb=0&start=210
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=aphasia&emb=0&aq=f
&aq=f#q=aphasia&emb=0&aq=f&aq=f&start=30
c. Aphasia
Case 1: Dutch-English—learned English at 19
Case 2: English-Spanish—learned Spanish at age 6
c. Aphasia
How does aphasia affect bilinguals?
Ways that languages can be recovered in
Bilingual Aphasia (Paradis, 1989)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Synergistic
Antagonistic
Successive
Selective
Mixed
49%
4%
6%
27%
12%
Language Disorders
December 5, 2008
Language Disorders
1.
2.
Observations—Experimental
a. William’s syndrome (low cognitive
abilities, high linguistic abilities)
b. Developmental language disorder (normal
cognitive abilities, low linguistic abilities)
Brain imaging
a. Schizophrenia
b. Dyslexia
a. William’s Syndrome
(Chatterbox Syndrome)
(Bellugi, et al., 1990)
Affects 1 in 20,000 births
Characteristics:
Cardiovascular problems
Loss of genes that affect brain development
and protein uptake
Elfin facial features
Disabilities in spatial abilities, math, cognitive reasoning
Inability to capture wholistic understanding of events
IQ ranging from 40 to 60
a. William’s Syndrome
(Chatterbox Syndrome)
But: Have incredible social and linguistic abilities
a. Exaggerated prosody and tone
b. Extensive vocabularies—when asked to name
animals, name yak, ibsen, and other exotic animals
before naming things like dog, cat, etc.
c. Extensive abilities to write, speak, and describe
stories
d. Normal phonological memory
b. Familial Aggregation of a
developmental language disorder
(Gopnik and Crago, 1991)
Language impairment not caused by cognitive disorders
like retardation, perceptual disorders like deafness,
and social disorders like Autism
Affects about half of family
One grandmother
Out of her 5 children, 4 are linguistically impaired
Out of her 23 grandchildren, 11 are linguistically
impaired
Gopnik traces the impairment to a single dominant gene
b. Familial Aggregation of a
developmental language disorder
(Gopnik and Crago, 1991)
1. Loss of grammatical ability:
a. It’s a flying finches, they are
b. She remembered when she hurts herself the other day.
c. The boys eat four cookie
d. Carol is cry in the church.
.
2. Loss of comprehension
Unable to carry out complex commands and understand
complexities in language
The lady
pointing to tree
and man is
watch her. The
ambulance
come along
because man
fall off the tree
3. Language Disorders and the
Brain




Dyslexia
Schizophrenia
Autism
ADHD
a. Dyslexia
The next two slides show brain imaging differences between
dyslexics and controls during a lexical access task using
functional MR imaging. The red boxes show areas of brain
activation as measured by blood oxygenation. Notice that all
of the 6 normal subjects have activation in the insula (upper
oval) and in the temporal lobe (lower oval). None of the
dyslexic subjects had activation in the insula and they had
inconsistent activation in the temporal lobe.
(Data from the University of Washington Learning Disability
Center)
Control - Lexical Access task
Dyslexics - Lexical Access Task
Dyslexic Example
Control Example
Left
Anterior
Left
Anterior
Functional MR spectroscopic images during a phonological task.
The red boxes show areas of brain activation as measured by brain
lactate changes. The image on the left is from a dyslexic subject.
The image on the right is from a "normal" volunteer. The subject's
left side is on the image right side (radiological convention). Notice
the dyslexic subject has large activation in the left anterior region of
the brain. This kind of difference is specific to the phonological
task. (Data from the University of Washington Learning Disability
Center)
b. Schizophrenia
Hyperfrontality
 First shown by Ingvar and Franzén 1973
 Most pronounced in chronic patients with very longlasting hospitalization and treatment with
neuroleptics. Patients display predominantly
negative symptoms.
 Unmedicated acutely ill schizophrenic patients show
slightly decreased, normal or even elevated frontal
(resting) blood flow levels dependent upon the
symptoms displayed.
b. Schizophrenia
PET studies on the task of verbal generation in superior temporal
gyrus (STG) (Frith et al., 1995)
Normal participants
STG was activated by listening to spoken language, but inhibited
during self-generated speech.
No such inhibition was recorded during PET scanning,
suggesting that self-monitoring of speech signals is a key
component of the disorder.
b. Schizophrenia
Seal et al. (2004): Schizophrenia patients cannot tell the
difference between their own voice and other voices.
Controls can. Schizophrenia patients’ “auditory
hallucinations” is the inability to tell the difference
between their own self-monitoring speech and the speech
of others.
Normal inter-hemispheric integration:
Inhibition of any awareness by the verbally expressive
hemispheric consciousness that it actually receives and
sends thoughts, intentions, and feelings from and to
another consciousness.
In schizophrenia this integration is disturbed with the result
that the LH consciousness becomes aware of an influence
from an “external” force, which in fact is the RH.
b. Schizophrenia
Is there a cure?
Romme et al. (1993)
700 people responded to TV program
400 had voices
350 difficult to cope
100 coped well
Differences between groups:
Positive voices
Less commanding
Set more limits/ listen selectively
Communicate about voices with others
rCBF differences between controls and 6 schizophrenic patients
with abnormal performance on the auditory recognition task
Reduced communication between frontal and
temporal lobes during talking in schizophrenia
Ford et al., Biol. Psychiatry, 51, 485-492, 2002
d. Autism
Autism between 0.1-0.3%
 Asperger’s syndrome 0.20-0.48%
 Autism spectrum disturbance 0.1-0.6%
 Later studies show that the total prevalence
for autism spectrum disturbances is between
0.5-0.8%

Cognitive disturbances in Autism
spectrum disorders




Deficient mentalizing (theory of mind,
empathy)
Deficient central coherence
Deficient executive functions
Difficulties with automatization and
generalization
10 functional brain imaging studies of mentalizing in
autism
Frith, U. & Frith C., Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B, 358, 459-473, 2003
Brain pathology in autism




Subnormal frontal activation during execution
of theory of mind tasks.
Cerebellar abnormality (smaller or larger
vermis area).
Less activation of ”face specific” brain areas.
Deviant visual search in social situations;
difficulties recognizing social meaning.
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Slide 1