Bilinguals' recall and recognition of emotion words

Aycicegi A., Harris C.

COGNITION & EMOTION, vol.18, no.7, pp.977-987, 2004 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02699930341000301
  • Title of Journal : COGNITION & EMOTION
  • Page Numbers: pp.977-987


Recall of emotion words is superior to neutral words. Prior work reported in this journal (Anooshian & Hertel, 1994) found that this effect was absent in a second language. Words in a second language may thus lack the emotional associations of words acquired in childhood. To determine whether memory probes may be generally useful for assessing emotionality effects in a first versus a second language, Anooshian and Hertel's paradigm was extended in several ways. Recall was compared to recognition, and a variety of types of emotion words were studied, including taboo terms, and phrases likely to be learned in childhood (reprimands). Superior memory for emotion words was obtained in both the recall and recognition tasks, but this occurred in both the first and second language and indeed was stronger, for some stimuli, in the second language. This suggests that, even for bilingual speakers who acquire their second late (after age 12), words in the second language retain rich emotional associations.