Crosslinguistic influence on headedness of novel English compounds: Evidence from bilingual speakers of Te Reo Māori and English
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This article explores the hypothesis that bilingual knowledge of different compounding patterns can influence the interpretation of a set of novel English noun-noun compounds. The focus of the study is on bilingual speakers who are fluent in two typologically diverse languages: te reo Māori (postmodifying) and English (premodifying). A comparison of bilingual and monolingual participant groups indicates that Māori-English bilingual speakers more frequently rely on the Māori structure of left-headed compounding in their meaning interpretation of English compounds. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of the cognitive process of transfer and additional means of meaning association in bilingual speakers.
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