[PS-1.88] What do I choose? Influence of interlocutor on bilingual language choice during object naming

Kapiley, K. . & Mishra, R.

Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hyderabad, India.

People are often situated in different interactional contexts. It is very interesting to note, as to how dynamically bilinguals perceive and adapt to potential interlocutor?s language fluency in the two languages. We investigated how such perceived linguistic ability of an interlocutor influences a bilingual?s voluntary language choice production, during a subsequent picture-naming task. Two groups of bilinguals (L1-dominant, L2-dominant) were introduced to audio-visual stimuli of animated human-like cartoons that were either high or low proficient in L2. These cartoons were randomly presented before voluntary language choice and picture-naming task. Unfamiliar cartoons were presented during the experiment for the baseline. Both types of bilinguals chose L2 more (p < 0.001) in the presence of a high-L2 proficient cartoon and chose L1 more (p < 0.05) in the presence of low-L2 proficient cartoon. In the presence of unfamiliar cartoon, L1-dominant bilinguals chose L1 more (p < 0.05) than L2, whereas no such difference (p = .45) was observed for L2-dominant bilinguals. We further discuss the results with regard to the adaptive control hypothesis. Our results suggest that bilinguals can effectively predict context-appropriate language based on the interlocutor awareness and that linguistic context can affect the top down process of voluntary language selection.