Linguistic Predictors of Cultural Identification in Bilinguals

Scott R. Schroeder, Tuan Q. Lam, Viorica Marian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Most of the world's population has knowledge of at least two languages. Many of these bilinguals are also exposed to and identify with at least two cultures. Because language knowledge enables participation in cultural practices and expression of cultural beliefs, bilingual experience and cultural identity are interconnected. However, the specific links between bilingualism and cultural identity remain largely unidentified. The current study examined which aspects of bilingualism relate to identification with first- A nd second-language cultures. Two hundred and nine bilinguals completed a questionnaire probing linguistic background and cultural affiliations. Regression analyses indicated that cultural identification was predicted by age of language acquisition, language proficiency, foreign accentedness, and contexts of long-term language immersion and current language exposure. Follow-up analyses revealed that the language-culture relations were mediated by the age and manner in which the second language was acquired. These findings are situated within a proposed framework of bilingual cultural identity. By identifying features of bilingualism that are relevant for cultural identity, the current research increases our understanding of the relationship between language and culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-488
Number of pages26
JournalApplied Linguistics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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