How first- and second-language emotion words influence emotion perception in Swedish-English bilinguals

Marie France Champoux-Larsson, Erik C. Nook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Emotional experiences are often dulled in one's second language. We tested whether emotion concepts are more strongly associated with first language (L1) than second language (L2) emotion words. Participants (140 L1-Swedish-L2-English bilinguals) saw a facial expression of an emotion (cue) followed by a target, which could either be another facial expression, an L1 emotion word, or an L2 emotion word. Participants indicated whether the cue and target represented the same or different emotions as fast as possible. Participants were faster and more accurate in both the L1 and L2 word conditions compared to the face condition. However, no significant differences emerged between the L1 and L2 word conditions, suggesting that emotion concepts are not more strongly associated with L1 than L2 emotion words. These results replicate prior research showing that L1 emotion words speed facial emotion perception and provide initial evidence that words (not only first language words) shape emotion perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBilingualism
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Keywords

  • bilingualism
  • emotion perception
  • emotion words
  • facial expressions of emotion
  • second language

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