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Monolingual and bilingual logical representations of quantificational scope : evidence from priming in language comprehension

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

A doubly quantified sentence, such as All hikers climbed a hill, allows two interpretations: Did all hikers climb different hills, or did they climb the same hill? Previous work has shown that comprehenders construct disambiguated logical representations of these interpretations (Raffray & Pickering, 2010). We extended this line of research by investigating whether bilingual logical representations are shared between languages or separate per language. We conducted four sentence-picture matching experiments in which we primed interpretations of doubly quantified sentences in Dutch and French monolingual and bilingual language comprehension. These experiments showed that bilinguals have fully shared logical representations and that logical representations constructed in the L1 and the L2 are comparable. Moreover, a control experiment ruled out that the priming effects were driven by visual overlap between prime and target pictures. We discuss these findings in terms of a language-dependent account of logical representations, although these findings can also be reconciled with the idea that logical representations involve conceptual mental models of sentence meaning.
ISSN: 1096-0821
Volume: 116