Title

Effects of Concreteness and Task Context on Recall of Prose Among Bilingual and Monolingual Speakers

ISBN or ISSN

0749-596X

Volume

28

Issue

3

Publication Date / Copyright Date

6-1989

First Page

278

Last Page

291

Publisher

Academic Press

DOI Number

10.1016/0749-596X(89)90034-X

Abstract

The presence of concreteness effects on recall of prose paragraphs was shown to depend on the language experience of the subjects, the nature of the task, and whether subjects were given both concrete and abstract passages. In Experiment 1, monolingual and bilingual subjects recalled both abstract and concrete English paragraphs following comprehension instructions. Although no overall difference in recall was found, monolinguals showed a large concreteness effect but bilinguals showed only a marginal one. In Experiment 2, the concreteness effect for monolinguals was eliminated by presenting only abstract or concrete paragraphs to a given subject. In Experiment 3, after rating the image ability of individual sentences within abstract and concrete paragraphs, both language groups showed a large concreteness effect in recall. Concreteness effects can thus be obtained in recall of prose, tied not to differences in how abstract and concrete words are represented, but to how the prose is both encoded and retrieved. It is suggested that for bilinguals, the language of prose can act as a context specifier.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences

Keywords

Language Experience, Monolingual, Bilingual, Concreteness Effect

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