GARCIA adolfo Martin
congresos y reuniones científicas
Neurocognitive determinants of variability in the representation, processing, and use of World Languages
GARCÍA, ADOLFO M.
Simposio; Journal of World Languages Launch Symposium; 2013
University of Science and Technology Beijing (School of Foreign Studies)
The notion of world language has been variously defined. Although no consensus seems to exist as to what exactly the term means, all accounts coincide in the recognition of usage variability as a key aspect of the construct. The sociocultural factors framing such variability have been extensively treated in the literature. However, comparatively little attention has been paid to the neurocognitive underpinnings of the phenomenon. This paper addresses the neurocognitive bases of language variability, on the critical observation that most users of world languages are non-native speakers. Psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic evidence obtained from bilingual users of world languages reveals that usage variability is related to four factors, namely: age of acquisition, mode of appropriation, level of proficiency, and typological closeness between the native and the non-native language. In its concluding section, the paper calls for the need to complement sociocultural views on world-language usage variability with relevant neurolinguistic and psycholinguistic findings.