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Examining the Boundaries of Embodiment (ExamBoundEmbod)
Start date: Mar 1, 2014, End date: Feb 28, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The proposed research program is designed to investigate the embodied mechanisms that ground cognition, in first (L1)and second (L2) language. We suggest that different languages shape our thinking, perceiving and feeling of the world.More importantly, they are grounded differently. We argue that whereas L1 is embodied, this is not the case for L2, or atleast not to the same degree. The proposed experiments are designed to systematically compare L1/L2 related differencesin performance as well as psychophysiological indicators in a number of paradigms presented to early (EB) and late (LB)bilinguals. To our knowledge these are among the first studies on embodiment with bilingual samples.The suggestion that L1 and L2 are unlikely to be equally embodied will be investigated in a study designed to furnish adirect examination of how L1 and L2 are somatically grounded (a neglected feature of both the embodied literature as wellas bilingualism research). Studies 2 to 4 investigate how embodied simulation may drive specific phenomena suchlanguage congruence effects, modality switching costs and false memories in L1 and L2. Studies 5 & 6 will provide a moreecologically valid indication of how affective and interpersonal states are manifested in spontaneous linguisticrepresentations when using L1 and L2.Our findings are likely to advance our understanding of a number of central issues pertinent to the emerging field ofembodiment and may lend additional support to the assumptions that cognition and language are grounded on bodilystates. Second, this research will identify the constraints of such assumptions in an increasingly multilingual andmulticultural world where the daily use of a second language for professional, recreational and interpersonal purposes isoften required. This is likely to inform research and policies designed to address the current challenges posed byparticipating in two or more linguistic communities.

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