The Dynamics of the Interrelationship Between Language and Thought in Processing Motion: What Eye Movements Can Show Us

Lecture
Friday, October 20, 2017 - 3:00pm
Cathedral of Learning G13

Does the language that we speak influence the way we think, perceive reality or remember certain aspects of it? The so-called "linguistic relativity" debate has been recently reinvigorated by a new generation of technology-assisted cross-linguistic and bilingual studies suggesting that both linguistic and non-linguistic cognitive behavior (attention, memory, etc.) are influenced by our native and additional languages. In her talk, Dr. Victoria Hasko analyzes the domain of motion to investigate the differences in how native speakers of English and Russian talk about motion and space and how they interrogate motion events visually and verbally. Her work is motivated by the evidence of significant acquisitional difficulties in the ability of English-speaking American learners of Russian to verbalize motion events in Russian in a native-like manner, suggesting resistance to to cognitive restructuring.