ERIC Number: ED283373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Correlates of Culturally Dissimilar Word Meanings in the Two Languages of the Bilingual.
King, Simon T.
A study assessed the effect of American/Western culture on English-speaking Japanese bilinguals as reflected in differences in the connotative meanings of certain kinds of words. Differences in culturally determined meanings were examined in translation-equivalent concrete concepts, abstract words, and personality attributes, as measured on a semantic differential scale, among 35 Japanese college students in the United States. Results indicate that: (1) equivalent concepts in Japanese and American English differ in affective meaning for the same bilingual subjects, and (2) such shifts in meaning are reflected differentially by individual factors in the three concept domains. In addition, in the personality-attribute domain, the shifts in meaning for four out of eight words were in directions contrary to known cultural differences. In general, the results support the proposed existence of separately coded meaning systems and provide evidence for separately maintained verbally mediated cognitive systems. The maintenance of two meaning systems facilitates coping with and adapting to the conflicting values and attitudes of two different cultures. (MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingualism, College Students, Contrastive Linguistics, Correlation, Cultural Context, Cultural Differences, English (Second Language), Foreign Students, Higher Education, Intercultural Communication, Japanese, Language Processing, Semantic Differential, Semantics, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (94th, Washington, DC, August 1986).