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Title: Emotion perception in Arabic and English by Arabic/English monolinguals and Arabic-English bilinguals : a mixed methods investigation
Author: Alqarni, Nada
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 9174
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis investigates variation in the emotion perception (EP) and the perceived emotional intensity of six emotions in the Arabic and English languages for 609 participants, consisting of 205 Arabic-English bilinguals, 71 Arabic monolinguals, and 333 English monolinguals. Independent variables include the status of language (monolinguals versus bilinguals), psychological variables (trait emotional intelligence-TEI), linguistic proficiency, socio-biographical variables (age, gender, and education level), linguistic profile variables (age and contexts of L2 acquisition, frequency of language use, and residence in English-speaking countries-ESCs), in-group advantage, and bicultural identity orientations. This study adopts an acculturation perspective to explore the relationship between bicultural identities and the EP of bilinguals who live in ESCs. The stimuli used to depict the emotions were 12 short audio-visual video clips: six in Arabic and six in English. A mixed methods approach was utilised. The quantitative study was based on data obtained from web-based questionnaires that were translated into Arabic and English. The qualitative study consisted of semi-structured interviews with seven Arabic-English bilinguals about their opinions towards emotion perception in the L1 and L2 and the challenges they face in interpreting emotions. The findings showed that bilinguals outperformed monolinguals in EP in English but did not perform better than Arabic monolinguals in EP in Arabic. The bilingual group also outperformed monolingual groups at the TEI level, suggesting a significant (but small) bilingual advantage in the psychological and emotional domains. TEI, as well as linguistic proficiency scores, was significantly correlated with the EP scores of the bilinguals and English monolinguals. The socio-biographical and linguistic profile variables and bicultural identity were also linked to the EP scores. Monolinguals were able to easily identify emotions in their L1, adding evidence to the claim that language and culture play a fundamental role in emotion construction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available