The dynamics of bilingual mental lexcon
Sorokina, Anastasia Nikolaevna
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The present paper is motivated by the difference in how Russian and English employ age-related female labels; English has only two labels, while Russian employs three. Russian monolinguals, English monolinguals, and Russian learners engaged in a free categorization, Likert-scale task, and labeling task to answer questions about any possible differences in categorical perception, categorical age boundaries of each female term, and influences of acculturation and length of study on successful internalization of a new L2 concept. The monolingual groups demonstrated differences in categorical perception as a result of cross-linguistic lexical differences. Russian L2 learners’ performance deviated from the Russian monolingual pattern suggesting that acquisition of partial conceptual equivalents creates acquisition issues for Russian L2 learners. Extended exposure to the L2 culture did not seem to facilitate successful acquisition of the concept devushka leading the author to argue that explicit L2 instructions are necessary for successful acquisition of Russian female terms.