Laboratory of the Aurora Center for Language Acquisition, Variation, and Attrition
Pouran Seifi is joining our team at AcqVa Aurora as a MSCA Fellow

Pouran Seifi is joining our team at AcqVa Aurora as a MSCA Fellow

We are happy to announce that Pouran Seifi is joining our team at AcqVa Aurora as a MSCA Fellow!

She will be working on the project Cross-linguistic influence in third language acquisition: Sentence processing, comprehension and production by child Turkish-Norwegian heritage bilinguals (TomRis) with Natalia Mitrofanova and Marit Westergaard!

The project TomRis advances our knowledge about the functioning of a child’s multilingual brain and uncovers how a multilingual heritage speaker processes and comprehends a third language in real-time. TomRis is the first study to investigate how typological primacy and structural proximity between the involved languages affect cross-linguistic influence in the processing and comprehension of a third language during reading. The question is whether the (mis)matched properties in morpho-syntactic structures in the prior languages, which are typologically close (Norwegian/ Dutch) to or distant (Turkish) from English, facilitate the processing of L3 English sentences. TomRis offers a groundbreaking approach to capturing the traces of L1 and L2 in processing L3 English by focusing on the same heritage language (Turkish) in two different linguistic contexts (Norway/ the Netherlands). Also, it keeps the task constant in obtaining offline (grammaticality judgement) and online (eye-tracking) processing data during reading. A further novelty in TomRis is the focus on two distinct development stages of language learning to compare the degree and source of CLI in L3 English processing and comprehension at different stages of acquisition. Also, I will match the participants not only based on their proficiency in the L3 (thus isolating potential effects of CLI from previously acquired languages) but also based on their language proficiency in the background languages. Gaining a deep understanding of the factors that facilitate or interfere with CLI in multilingual children is a good investment for the further development of the field. The results will be crucial for all who have to deal with the challenges of multilingual children’s language learning such as language educators, policymakers, language therapists, and parents.

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