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Academic Paper

Title: Memory for emotional words in the first and the second language: Effects of the encoding task
Author: Pilar Ferré
Institution: Rovira i Virgili University
Author: Rosa Sánchez-Casas
Institution: Rovira i Virgili University
Author: Isabel Fraga
Institution: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: Emotional words are better remembered than neutral words in the first language. Ferré, García, Fraga, Sánchez-Casas and Molero (2010) found this emotional effect also for second language words by using an encoding task focused on emotionality. The aim of the present study was to test whether the same effect can also be observed with encoding tasks not related to emotionality, as has been reported in monolinguals. We tested highly proficient bilinguals of Catalan and Spanish that were dominant in one of these two languages. At the encoding phase, we directed their attention to words’ features other than emotionality (participants had to either rate words’ concreteness or count the number of vowels they had). In both cases, we obtained an advantage for emotional words independently of the language in which they appeared. These results suggest that the emotional effect on memory has the same characteristics in the two languages of a bilingual.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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