Speaker: Dr. Kim Say Young
Title: How does language distance between first language (L1) and second language (L2) affect the L2 brain network? An fMRI study of Korean-Chinese-English trilinguals
Date: Wednesday 11 November, 12-1 pm
Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)
The present study tested the hypothesis that language distance between first language (L1) and second language (L2) influences the assimilation and accommodation pattern in Korean-Chinese-English trilinguals. The distance between English and Korean is smaller than that between Chinese and Korean in terms of orthographic transparency, because both English and Korean are alphabetic, whereas Chinese is logographic. During fMRI, Korean trilingual participants performed a visual rhyming judgment task in three languages (Korean, Chinese, and English). Two L1 control groups were native Chinese and English speakers performing the task in their native languages. The results suggest that the brain network involved in L2 reading is similar to the L1 network when L2 and L1 are similar in orthographic transparency, while significant accommodation is expected when L2 is more opaque than L1.
About the Speaker:
Say Young is a postdoctoral fellow working with Drs. Winston Goh and Melvin Yap. He completed his PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park (USA). In his graduate and post-doctoral careers, he has conducted several lines of research regarding language processing and second language learning using both behavioral and neuroscience methodology (fMRI and ERPs).