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Educational Psychology

Theses/Dissertations

2014

City University of New York (CUNY)

Linguistic relativity

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Reexamining Linguistic Relativity: What Adult Bilinguals Can Teach Us About Culture, Language, And Cognition, Natalya Petroff Oct 2014

Reexamining Linguistic Relativity: What Adult Bilinguals Can Teach Us About Culture, Language, And Cognition, Natalya Petroff

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Extending Whorf's popular notion of linguistic relativity (LR) to bilingual contexts, one would argue that a speaker's first language (L1) influences her thinking and behavior under second language (L2) conditions. According to one interpretation of LR, inter-language relativity, L1 instills in its speakers habitual ways of thinking and thus influences their perception and categorization in L2 contexts. Under intra-speaker relativity, bilinguals follow either L1 or L2 patterns of performance, depending on L2 proficiency. Finally, according to usage-based accounts of language, there is no qualitative difference between mono- and bilingual speakers, and a bilingual's performance under L2 conditions ...