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PLM2008 :: 11-14 September 2008

PLM2008 Workshop Session: Linguistic processing in bi- and multilinguals

The last 15 years or so brought extensive research on the representation and processing of language in bilingual subjects. Numerous models of the bilingual mental lexicon have been constructed (e.g. Kroll & Stewart 1994). There is agreement among researchers that the two languages of a bilingual person must be somehow integrated. With the advent of yet another language into the mind of the speaker, his/her linguistic processing changes not only quantitatively but also qualitatively, which makes multilinguals a new and particularly interesting research group. In recent years there have been a number of studies attempting to extend the scope of bilingualism research to include the processing of multiple languages (e.g. van Hell & Dijkstra 2002, Hall & Ecke 2003) and the processing of figurative language (e.g. Matlock & Heredia 2002).

In this workshop we aim to further the study of bi- and multilingual processing by bringing together researchers working on various aspects of language processing in bi- and multilingual subjects.

We invite contributions on topics related to the following:

  • bi/multilingual research methods
  • on-line experimentation with multilinguals as a window into multiple language processing and storage
  • contributions of theoretical insights from general linguistics to research into the multilingual lexicon
  • cross-linguistic factors in multilingual processing
  • figurative language (idioms, metaphor, simile, proverbs, irony) processing in bi/multilinguals
  • differences between figurative language processing in L1 and L2

Deadline for submissions is April 21st, 2008. Please do not submit your proposal via the PLM website but send an abstract (no longer than 500 words, excluding references) directly to the session organizers.

Session organisers

Anna Cieślicka (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), e-mail: annac (at)
Anna Ewert (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), e-mail: eanna (at)
(In the addresses above, replace (at) with @)

Selected bibliography

Hall, Christopher J. & Peter Ecke. 2003. "Parasitism as a default mechanism in L3 vocabulary acquisition", in: Jasone Cenoz, Britta Hufeisen & Ulrike Jessner (eds.), The multilingual lexicon. 71-86.

Kroll, Judith F. & Erika Stewart. 1994. "Category interference in translation and picture naming: Evidence for asymmetric connections between bilingual memory representations". Journal of Memory and Language 33: 149-174.

Matlock, Teenie & Roberto R. Heredia. 2002. "Understanding phrasal verbs in monolinguals and bilinguals", in: Roberto R. Heredia & Jeanette Altarriba (eds.) Bilingual sentence processing. 251-274.

Van Hell, Janet G. & Ton Dijkstra. 2002. "Foreign language knowledge can influence native language performance in exclusively native contexts". Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 9(4): 780-789.