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.
|Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
|Accepted/In press - 2022
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- disadvantaged minorities
- power disparities