Semantic categorization of body parts among English and Russian monolinguals and bilinguals


Semantic typology and categorization are important fields of research in linguistics. The aim of our work is to inspect these fields in regard to bilingualism. In this thesis we examine semantic categorization of body parts among four different groups of people: monolingual English speakers, monolingual Russian speakers, bilingual Russian speakers answering in English and bilingual Russian speakers answering in Russian. The hierarchies, ambiguities in naming patterns and homology were in the center of this study. The groups were also compared to each other in order to observe the effects of the first language learned (L1) and the second language learned (L2) on bilinguals. The results showed that Russian L1 bilinguals answering the Russian questionnaire displayed the same results as the Russian monolinguals, indicating a lack of influence from the L2. The Russian L1 bilinguals answering the English questionnaire used a semantic categorization most similar to their L1 and also demonstrated a broadening of the semantic categories related to neither the L1 nor the L2

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