To feel and talk in a language of conflict: distinct emotional experience and expression of bilinguals among disadvantaged minority members

Nur Kassem, Yonat Rum, Anat Perry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research conducted on emotionality in bilinguals suggests that language use modulates emotional expression. The current study examines bilingual disadvantaged minority members’ emotional experience and expression as shaped by the group relations in a conflict area. We hypothesised that, in general, greater emotionality will be found in one’s native language. Moreover, since the second language is imposed and acquired in a negative context, there may be differential effects on negative and positive language. A novel ecological paradigm was used: Twenty-eight Palestinian citizens of Israel were videotaped while recounting emotional stories in both Arabic (L1) and Hebrew (L2), resulting in 212 videos. Two studies followed: In Study 1 we compared participants’ emotional ratings (1a) and analyzed the content of emotional expression (1b). In Study 2, American participants rated emotional expressiveness. In Study 1, an interaction effect was found between language and valence, with less positive emotions and expressions in L2. In Study 2, a general difference in expressiveness was found in favour of L1. These studies show an effect of power disparities on the emotional load of the second language, thus highlighting the emotional costs of using a second language acquired in a conflict area.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Bilingualism
  • conflict
  • disadvantaged minorities
  • emotion
  • power disparities
  • valence

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'To feel and talk in a language of conflict: distinct emotional experience and expression of bilinguals among disadvantaged minority members'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this