Pragmatic abilities in bilinguals
The case of scalar implicatures
The experimental literature on the pragmatic abilities of bilinguals is rather sparse. The only study investigating adult second language (L2) learners (Slabakova, 2010) found an increase of pragmatic responses in that population relative to monolinguals. The results of studies on early bilingual children are unclear, some finding a significant increase in pragmatic responses in early bilingual children (preschoolers) relative to monolinguals (Siegal et al., 2007), while another (Antoniou and Katsos, 2017), testing school children, does not. We tested adult French L2 learners of English and Spanish (in their two languages) as well as French monolingual controls in Experiment 1 and Italian-Slovenian early bilingual children (in both languages) and Slovenian monolingual controls in Experiment 2. Our results were similar to those of Antoniou and Katsos (2017) in early bilingual children, but different from those of Siegal et al. (2007). We found no pragmatic bias in adult L2 leaners relative to adult monolinguals.
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