The use of socially opprobrious words (taboo words) is a cross-cultural phenomenon occurring between individuals from almost all social extractions. The neurocognitive correlates of using taboo words in the native language (L1) as compared to their use in a second (L2) language are largely unknown. We used fMRI to investigate the processing of taboo and non-taboo stimuli in monolinguals (Experiment 1) and highly proficient bilinguals (Experiment 2) engaged in lexical decision tasks. We report that for L1 socio-pragmatic knowledge is automatically conveyed and taboo words are processed with less effort than non-taboo words. For L2 the processing of taboo words is more effortful and engages additional structures (anterior cingulate cortex, insula) involved in social-norm representation and evaluation. Our results contribute to understand the interface between language and social-norm processing indicating that lexical processing is affected by socio-pragmatic knowledge, but only when the speaker has a contextual use of the language.

Are you really cursing? Neural processing of taboo words in native and foreign language / Sulpizio, Simone; Toti, Michelle; Del Maschio, Nicola; Costa, Albert; Fedeli, Davide; Job, Remo; Abutalebi, Jubin. - In: BRAIN AND LANGUAGE. - ISSN 0093-934X. - 194:(2019), pp. 84-92. [10.1016/j.bandl.2019.05.003]

Are you really cursing? Neural processing of taboo words in native and foreign language

Job, Remo;
2019

Abstract

The use of socially opprobrious words (taboo words) is a cross-cultural phenomenon occurring between individuals from almost all social extractions. The neurocognitive correlates of using taboo words in the native language (L1) as compared to their use in a second (L2) language are largely unknown. We used fMRI to investigate the processing of taboo and non-taboo stimuli in monolinguals (Experiment 1) and highly proficient bilinguals (Experiment 2) engaged in lexical decision tasks. We report that for L1 socio-pragmatic knowledge is automatically conveyed and taboo words are processed with less effort than non-taboo words. For L2 the processing of taboo words is more effortful and engages additional structures (anterior cingulate cortex, insula) involved in social-norm representation and evaluation. Our results contribute to understand the interface between language and social-norm processing indicating that lexical processing is affected by socio-pragmatic knowledge, but only when the speaker has a contextual use of the language.
Sulpizio, Simone; Toti, Michelle; Del Maschio, Nicola; Costa, Albert; Fedeli, Davide; Job, Remo; Abutalebi, Jubin
Are you really cursing? Neural processing of taboo words in native and foreign language / Sulpizio, Simone; Toti, Michelle; Del Maschio, Nicola; Costa, Albert; Fedeli, Davide; Job, Remo; Abutalebi, Jubin. - In: BRAIN AND LANGUAGE. - ISSN 0093-934X. - 194:(2019), pp. 84-92. [10.1016/j.bandl.2019.05.003]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/236960
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