Reading Shakespearean tropes in a foreign tongue: Age of L2 acquisition modulates neural responses to functional shifts

Martina G. Vilas, Micaela Santilli, Ezequiel Mikulan, Federico Adolfi, Miguel Martorell Caro, Facundo Manes, Eduar Herrera, Lucas Sedeño, Agustín Ibáñez, Adolfo M. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Functional shifts (FSs) – morphosyntactically marked words evoking coherent but novel meanings – are ubiquitous in English and, specially, in Shakespearean literature. While their neural signatures have been explored in native speakers, no study has targeted foreign-language users, let alone comparing early and late bilinguals. Here, we administered a validated FS paradigm to subjects from both populations and evaluated time-frequency modulations evoked by FS and control sentences. Early bilinguals exhibited greater sensitivity towards FSs, indexed by reduced fronto-posterior theta-band oscillations across semantic- and structural-integration windows. Such oscillatory modulations may represent a key marker of age-of-acquisition effects during foreign-language wordplay processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume124
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Age of acquisition
  • ERPs
  • Functional shifts
  • Second-language processing
  • Time frequency

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