Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Institut für Deutsch als Fremdsprachenphilologie

Seeing for Speaking

Speakers: Monique Flecken & Barbara Schmiedtová

Affiliation: Universität Heidelberg & RU Nijmegen,

Title: Seeing for Speaking – monolingual, multilingual and bilingual competence


In this talk, we will discuss the relevance of a focus on simultaneous bilinguals when participating in the language and thought debate. We know from advanced L2 studies that many conceptualization processes stay defined by a person’s L1, so it is interesting to see what the conceptualization systems of speakers that have acquired 2 languages simultaneously from birth look like.

The language pair that the talk focuses on is German and Dutch. Although typologically similar, there is a crucial difference between the two concerning the expression of grammatical aspect. We will present some L1 linguistic and eye tracking data that reveal interesting differences between speakers of Dutch and German. The question thus is to what extent the bilingual speakers resemble L1 speakers of both languages, and what this tells us about the relation between language and thought.