The proposed research program consists of a series of integrated experiments designed to make a contribution to an improved understanding of communication dynamics in the current reality of multicultural societies that requires participation in two (or more) linguistic communities. Specifically the research investigates the implications of emotion language in primary (L1) and secondary language (L2) in early and late bilinguals. The general argument is that the modalities that ground concepts in L1 and L2 are unlikely to be equivalent on behavioral and physiological indicators, particularly with late bilinguals.
The main theoretical contribution of this proposal is to be found in the implications that this research is likely to have to the current debate on the embodiment perspective on language. As far as we know, these are the first studies on embodiment using bilingual samples, which may lend new and additional support to the assumptions that cognition and language are grounded on affective bodily states and identify the constrains of such assumptions when L2 is at stake.
The applied implications of investigating differences in the modality driven grounding of concepts between L1 and L2 are far reaching for intercultural communication. The proposed research elucidates the factors and conditions that constrain the use of L2 in everyday discourse across a variety of contexts where the daily use of a second language for professional, recreational and interpersonal purposes is increasingly required and has implications for the educational policies regarding second language acquisition.
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