Neurocognitive Approaches to Lexical Semantic Representations in First and Second Languages

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The study of lexical semantics has traditionally focused on native languages (L1) and has not paid enough attention to second language (L2). This has further been the case in neurocognitive studies of lexical semantic representations. In this talk, I propose to examine lexical semantic representations in both L1 and L2, with perspectives and approaches taken from the rapidly developing field of neuroscience of language. In particular, I present evidence on the similarities and differences between L1 and L2 with regard to the functional and structural signatures of two languages in the bilingual brain. I will discuss (1) the study of nouns and verbs in Chinese native speakers and Chinese-English bilinguals, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques and brain network analyses, (2) embodied semantic representations in Chinese and English, (3) representation of semantic networks as result of the context of learning, and (4) dynamic changes of lexical semantic representations in the competing L1 and L2 systems, and finally (5) methods in computational and corpus-based analyses of neural representations of semantic concepts in L1 and L2. Findings from our research provide insights into the understanding of conceptual representation and neuroplasticity.
Original languageEnglish
TypeKeynote Speaker
Media of outputCLSW2020
Place of PublicationHong Kong
Publication statusNot published / presented only - 30 May 2020


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