The bi-personal bilingual : a study of the perceived feeling of a changed self

Mijatović, Marko ; Tytus, Agnieszka Ewa

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2016
The title of a journal, publication series: International journal of bilingual education and bilingualism
Volume: tba
Issue number: tba
Page range: 1-13
Place of publication: London [u.a.]
Publishing house: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN: 1367-0050 , 1747-7522
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Anglistik I - Anglistische Linguistik (Tracy 1995-)
Subject: 400 Language, linguistics
Abstract: It has been a topic in psychiatry, it is referred to by translingual writers, and bilinguals report it frequently – the feeling of becoming a different person when using a different language. The present study was set out to investigate the reasons behind this feeling. We looked at the effects of biculturalism and personality traits, as well as introspective data from 88 German – English bilinguals. The analyses revealed no significant effects of biculturalism. However, an effect was found between high levels of Agreeableness and an affirmative answer to the feeling of a changed self. Furthermore, an integrated approach suggests that four main categories play a vital role in giving rise to this feeling, namely cultural differences, language proficiency, ‘breaking free’ from the L1 personality, and changes in personality due to reactions of interlocutors.

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