Esti Blanco Elorrieta, Harvard
Towards an inclusive neurobiology of language
Abstract: Understanding how our brains process language is one of the fundamental issues in cognitive science. In order to reach such understanding, it is critical to cover the full spectrum of manners in which humans acquire and experience language. However, due to a myriad of socioeconomic factors, research has disproportionately focused on monolingual English speakers. In this talk, I present a series of studies that systematically target fundamental questions about bilingual language use across a range of conversational contexts, both in production and comprehension. The results lay the groundwork to propose a more inclusive theory of the neurobiology of language, with an architecture that assumes a common selection principle at each linguistic level and can account for attested features of both bilingual and monolingual speech in, but crucially also out of, experimental settings.