Conceptualización de eventos en español y en sueco : Estudios sobre hablantes monolingües y bilingües
Sammanfattning: This thesis deals with language-specific patterns in the selection and organization of information (i.e., conceptualization) reflected in the expression of events by monolingual and bilingual speakers of Spanish and Swedish. Previous research on language specificity in event conceptualization shows that speakers of languages with grammatical aspect exhibit fine-grained event segmentation and deictic temporal linkage patterns, whereas speakers of non-aspect languages resort to coarse-grained segmentation patterns and anaphoric linkage. This finding has led to the hypothesis that grammatical aspect induces specific event conceptualization patterns. The overall aim of the current thesis is, first, to test this hypothesis on Spanish and Swedish, and second, to extend this line of research to the domain of bilingualism. The thesis is based on four individual studies: Study I examines monolingual speakers of Spanish and Swedish. The results show that event conceptualization in these languages patterns with the dichotomy +/- grammatical aspect; Study II explores the relationship between endpoint encoding patterns and proficiency with aspectual contrasts in the Spanish of Spanish-Swedish bilinguals. The findings show that the less Spanish-like a participant’s endpoint encoding frequencies are, the less sensitive he/she is to aspectual contrasts; Study III explores the degree to which language-specific patterns of segmentation and temporal linking of events are fused/separated in Spanish-Swedish bilinguals. The results show that whereas the bilinguals resort to an event segmentation pattern that is midway between the Spanish fine-grained patterns and the Swedish coarse-grained patterns, they exhibit nativelike temporal linking patterns in both Spanish and Swedish; Study IV contextualizes some of the author’s studies from a general viewpoint, with the intention of illustrating the fruitfulness of extending the research on event conceptualization to the domain of bilingualism.
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