Is Bilingualism Be The Alternate Use Of Two Or More Languages By The Same Individual?

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“Bilingualism is considered to be the alternate use of two or more languages by the same individual” (Mackey, 1957: 51, cited in Beardsmore & Baetens 1987). Recently, it has been debated among scholars, as to whether there is a difference in emotionality in a bilingual’s first language (L1) or second language (L2). Currently, the consensus is that that L1 tends to be most emotive, especially when expressing issues regarding childhood memories, whereas L2 tends to be more involved in encoding unemotional topics (Dewaele, 2008). Other research (Aycicegi-Dinn, Ayse & Caldwell –Harris, 2009) tends to suggest there is no difference between emotional expression in L1 and L2. Despite researchers being unable to agree, this essay will focus primarily on critically evaluating, and discussing how negative emotion differs, in particular anger and embarrassment, in L1 and L2. It will also briefly discuss the expression of positive emotion in bilinguals and which language is favoured. Anooshian and Hertel (1994) found a better recall for emotion words in L1 than L2 in comparison to neutral words. On the contrary, Ayçiçeği & Harris (2004) found a greater emotional recall in L2 rather than L1; a stronger recall was unexpectedly established in negative and taboo words, rather than positive words in L2. This could suggest that L2 is best used by bilinguals in order to express negative emotion, acting as barrier protecting the individual from unpleasant stimuli. The findings from Ayçiçeği
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