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Language and thought in a multilingual context: The case of isiXhosa*



Situated within the grammatical aspect approach to motion event cognition, this study takes a first step in investigating language and thought in functional multilinguals by studying L1 isiXhosa speakers living in South Africa. IsiXhosa being a non-aspect language, the study investigates how the knowledge and use of additional languages with grammatical aspect influence cognition of endpoint-oriented motion events among L1 isiXhosa speakers. Results from a triads-matching task show that participants who often used aspect languages and had greater exposure to English in primary education were less prone to rely on endpoints when categorising motion events.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Emanuel Bylund, Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Department of Swedish and Multilingualism, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden


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This research was funded through the SANPAD project Community Development through Early Literacy. We are grateful to the three anonymous BLC reviewers and editor Carmen Silva-Corvalán for their insightful comments on a previous version of this manuscript. We also wish to express our gratitude to Christiane von Stutterheim and Barbara Schmiedtová at Heidelberg University for making their video clips available to us, and to Petar Simonovic for proof-reading the paper. All remaining errors are entirely our own.



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Language and thought in a multilingual context: The case of isiXhosa*



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