A new publication by Tamar Degani, Anat Prior and Zofia Wodniecka is now available: TEditorial: Modulators of Cross-Language Influences in Learning and Processing Click here for more information!
Language learning and processing should be considered in the context of speakers’ prior linguistic knowledge. Research accumulated over the last few decades (Jarvis and Pavlenko, 2007) has indeed demonstrated that cross-language influences (CLI), also termed transfer, are present across different language domains, for bi- and multilinguals (Cenoz et al., 2001; Puig-Mayenco et al., 2020). Research on CLI is important for several reasons. On the theoretical front, such evidence can reveal the patterns of interconnectivity of the multilingual language system and inform models of multilingual representation and activation. Further, such research carries implications for learning and instruction, in understanding when and how CLI from prior linguistic knowledge would facilitate or hinder learning.
The article is a part of the special e-book on the topic of ‘Modulators of Cross-Language Influences in Learning and Processing’.
Despite wide agreement regarding the prevalence and importance of CLI, there is quite a lot of variability in its specific manifestations across studies. Thus, the goal of the current Research Topic is to set the stage for systematically mapping the factors that may modulate the presence and nature of CLI in learning and processing. Studies included in this Research Topic investigate CLI in children and adults, across lexicon and grammar, in beginning and advanced language users. Importantly, the studies identified and tested factors that might modulate CLI. Across the papers, the modulators examined include speaker characteristics, task demands, and item/language characteristics (see Figure 1), thus offering a rich and nuanced description of the factors at play. In what follows, we present the collection of studies in this Research Topic according to the language domain on which they focused (see Table 1), as well as outline commonalities and avenues for future research.