The Adaptive Bilingual Mind

Insights from Endangered Languages,

At present, much of the research on bilingual cognition focuses on late second language learners of a small number of languages. In this fascinating book, Evangelia Adamou widens the net by integrating advances in the field of bilingualism with the study of endangered languages. Drawing on recent studies from Europe and Latin America, she demonstrates that experimental psycholinguistic methods can be successfully applied outside the lab and, conversely, how data from these understudied populations provide new insights into the adaptive capacities of the bilingual mind. Adamou shows how bilinguals manage competing conceptualizations of time and space, how their grammars and language-mixing patterns adapt to cognitive constraints such as the need for simplification, and how language processing concurrently adapts to their complex bilingual experience. Combining statistical analyses with detailed linguistic and ethnographic information, this essential book will appeal to scholars of bilingualism, cognitive sciences, language endangerment, and language contact.

Table of Contents

Introduction and methods
1. Theoretical background
2. Methods: disentangling language contact, bilingualism, and attrition
3. The structure of this book
Part I. Do Bilinguals Maintain Language-specific Conceptualizations:
4. State of the art
5. Space
6. Time
Part II. Are Bilinguals Confronted with High Cognitive Costs:
7. State of the art
8. Cognitive costs in atypical forms of codeswitching
9. Reduction of alternative in language
Part III. Conclusions:
10. General discussion and conclusions

Adamou, E. (2021). The Adaptive Bilingual Mind: Insights from Endangered Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Published April 2021

Skip to content