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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Transfer of Spanish grammatical gender to English: Evidence from immersed and non-immersed bilinguals
Author: Luis Morales
Institution: Universidad de Granada
Author: Daniela Paolieri
Institution: Universidad de Granada
Author: Roberto Cubelli
Institution: Università degli Studi di Trento
Author: Maria Teresa Bajo
Institution: Universidad de Granada
Linguistic Field: Morphology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In this study we explored whether native Spanish speakers’ knowledge of grammatical gender in their native language (L1) affects speech production in a second language (L2) which lacks this feature (English). We selected Spanish–English bilinguals for testing who were immersed in either an L1 or an L2 context. Using a picture–word task, participants had to name pictures in their L2 while ignoring distractor words that could be either gender-congruent or gender-incongruent according to the Spanish translation. Results revealed that non-immersed participants were slower naming the pictures in the congruent condition, suggesting that bilingual people are influenced by knowledge about gender in their native language, even when producing utterances in a language in which this information does not apply. However, no such influence was observed for immersed bilinguals, suggesting that immersion environment attenuates access to the native language. We interpret our results as evidence of transfer effects between languages with different lexical systems, which seem to depend on language immersion.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 17, Issue 4.

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