The Dynamics of the Bilingual Mental Lexicon: The Effects of Partial Conceptual Equivalence on the Acquisition of Russian as an L2
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It has been shown that cross-linguistic variation between languages affects categorical perception in bilinguals. However, only a few cross-linguistic differences and their effects on conceptual storage and representation in the bilingual mental lexicon have been addressed despite the fact that conceptual non-equivalency creates acquisition issues for L2 learners. This research proposal is motivated by the difference in how Russian and English employ age-related female labels: English employs two terms, while Russian employs three. Russian monolinguals, English monolinguals, and Russian learners will engage in a free categorization, Likert-scale, and labeling tasks to answer questions about any possible differences in categorical perception, age boundaries of each female term, and influences of acculturation and length of study on successful internalization of a new L2 concept. The Russian learners’ performance is expected to deviate from the Russian monolingual pattern. Length of L2 study, acculturation, and L2 proficiency are anticipated to be facilitating factors for native-like performance.