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Emanuel Bylund Spångberg


My research is within the field of psycholinguistics, and covers two main strands: 1) How does the mind enable us to acquire language, and 2) How does language, once acquired, influence our minds? I have approched the first question by studying the influence of biological age on L2 acquisition and L1 attrition, in bilingual and monolingual (interntional adoptees) populations with different linguistic trajectories. I have approached the second question using the experimental paradigms afforded by neo-Whorfian research, to examine how language and cognition interact in the multilingual mind. Languages studied here include Afrikaans, British and South African English, German, isiXhosa, Spanish, and Swedish.



Articles (peer-reviewed journals):

Samuel, S., Bylund, E., Cooper, R. & Athanasopoulos, P. (in press). Illuminating ATOM: Taking time across the colour category border. Acta Psychologica.

Bylund, E., Abrahamsson, N., Hyltenstam, K. & Norrman, G. (2019). Revisiting the bilingual lexical deficit: The impact of age of acquisition. Cognition, 182, 45–49.

Bylund, E. (2017). Interpreting age effects in language acquisition and attrition. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 7, 182–186

Bylund, E. & Athanasopoulos, P. (2017). The Whorfian time warp: Representing duration through the language hourglass. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146, 911–916.

Montero-Melis, G. & Bylund, E. (2017). Getting the ball rolling: The cross-linguistic conceptualization of caused motion. Language and Cognition, 9, 446–472.

Bylund, E. & Ramírez, P. (2016). Language aptitude in first language attrition: A study on late Spanish–Swedish bilinguals. Applied Linguistics, 37, 621–638.

Athanasopoulos, P., Bylund, E. & Casasanto, D. (2016). New and interdisciplinary approaches to linguistic relativity. Language Learning, 66, 482–486.

Montero-Melis, G., Jaeger, F. & Bylund, E. (2016). Thinking is modulated by recent linguistic experience: Second language priming affects perceived event similarity. Language Learning, 66, 636–665.

Norrman, G. & Bylund, E. (2016). The irreversibility of sensitive period effects in language development: Evidence from second language acquisition in international adoptees. Developmental Science, 19, 513–520.

Bylund, E., Landin, B. & Åkesson, M. (2015). Bakåt i framtiden: Tidskognition hos inlärare av svenska som andraspråk. Nordisk tidsskrift för andrespråksforskning, 10, 7–24.

Bylund, E. & Athanasopoulos, P. (2015). Motion event categorisation in a nativised variety of South African English. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18, 588–601.

Athanasopoulos, P., Bylund, E., Montero-Melis, G., Damjanovic, L., Schartner, A., Kibbe, A., Riches, N. & Thierry, G. (2015). Two languages, two minds: Flexible cognitive processing driven by language of operation. Psychological Science, 26, 518–526.

Athanasopoulos, P., Damjanovic, L., Burnand, J. & Bylund, E. (2015). Learning to think in a second language: Effects of proficiency and length of exposure in English learners of German. Modern Language Journal, 99, 138–153.

Bylund, E. & Athanasopoulos, P. (2015). Televised Whorf: Cognitive restructuring in foreign language learners as a function of audio-visual media exposure. Modern Language Journal, 99, 123–137.

Bylund, E. & Athanasopoulos, P. (2015). Cognition, motion events, and SLA. Modern Language Journal, 99, 1–13.

Bylund, E. & Athanasopoulos, P. (2014). Linguistic relativity in SLA: Towards a new research programme. Language Learning, 64, 952–985.

Bylund, E. (2014). Unomathotholo or i-radio? Factors predicting the use of English loanwords among L1 isiXhosa - L2 English bilinguals. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 35, 105-120.

Bylund, E. & Athanasopoulos, P. (2014). Language and thought in a multilingual context: The case of isiXhosa. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17, 431-441.

Athanasopoulos, P. & Bylund, E. (2013a). The ‘thinking’ in thinking-for-speaking: Where is it? Language, Interaction, and Acquisition, 4, 91-100.

Bylund, E., Athanasopoulos, P. & Oostendorp, M. (2013). Motion event cognition and grammatical aspect. Evidence from Afrikaans. Linguistics, 51, 929-955.

Vesterinen, R. & Bylund, E. (2013). Towards a unified account of the Spanish subjunctive mood: Epistemic dominion and dominion of effective control. Lingua, 131, 179–198.

Athanasopoulos, P. & Bylund, E. (2013b). Does grammatical aspect affect motion event cognition? A cross-linguistic comparison of English and Swedish speakers. Cognitive Science, 37, 286-309.

Oostendorp, M. & Bylund, E. (2012). Emotions and HIV/AIDS in South Africa: A multilingual perspective. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics, 41, 77-89.

Bylund, E. & Díaz, M. (2012). The effects of heritage language instruction on first language proficiency. A psycholinguistic perspective. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 15, 593-609.

Bylund, E., Abrahamsson, N. & Hyltenstam, K. (2012). Does L1 maintenance hamper L2 nativelikeness? A study of L2 ultimate attainment in early Spanish-Swedish bilinguals. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 34, 215-241.

Bylund, E. (2011a). Segmentation and temporal structuring of events in early Spanish-Swedish bilinguals. International Journal of Bilingualism, 15, 86-54.

Bylund, E. (2011b). Ultimate attainment of event construal patterns in speakers of L2 Swedish. Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 8, 29-53.

Bylund, E. & Jarvis, S. (2011). L2 effects on L1 event conceptualization. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 47-59.

Bylund, E., Abrahamsson, N. & Hyltenstam, K. (2010). The role of language aptitude in first language attrition: The case of prepubescent attriters. Applied Linguistics, 31, 443-464.

Bylund, E. (2009a). Effects of age of L2 acquisition on L1 event conceptualization principles. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12, 305–322.

Bylund, E. (2009b). Maturational constraints and first language attrition. Language Learning, 59, 687–715.

Hyltenstam, K., Bylund, E., Abrahamsson, N. & Park, H.-S. (2009). Dominant language replacement: The case of international adoptees. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12, 121-140.

Bylund, E. (2008a). Procesos de conceptualización de eventos en sueco y en español: diferencias translingüísticas [Event conceptualization processes in Swedish and Spanish: Crosslinguistic differences]. Revue Romane, 43 (1), 1–24.


Chapters (peer-reviewed volumes):

Athanasopoulos, P., Samuel, S. & Bylund, E. (2017). The psychological reality of spatio-temporal metaphors. In A. Athanasiadou (Ed.), Figurative language and thought (pp. 296–321). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Norrman, G., Hyltenstam, K. & Bylund, E. (2016). Long-term language development in international adoptees. In F. Genesee & A. Delcenserie (Eds.), Starting overLanguage development in internationally adopted children (pp. 125–146). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Bylund, E. & Andersson, L. (2015). Las metáforas espacio-temporales y la percepción del tiempo. Un estudio comparativo sobre el español y el sueco [Spatio-temporal metaphors and time perception: a crosslinguistic study on Spanish and Swedish]. In G. Engwall & L. Fant (Eds.), Festival Romanística (pp. 113–130). Stockholm: Stockholm University Press.

Donoso, A. & Bylund, E. (2015). The construal of goal-oriented motion events by Swedish speakers of L2 Spanish. In J. Tiffany & S. Perpiñán (eds.) The acquisition of Spanish in adult and child bilingualism: Data from understudied language pairings (pp. 234–254) Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Bylund, E., Hyltenstam, K. & Abrahamsson, N. (2013). Age of acquisition effects or effects of bilingualism in second language ultimate attainment? In G. Grañena & M. Long (eds.) Sensitive periods, language aptitude, and ultimate L2 attainment (pp. 69–101). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Abrahamsson, N. & Bylund, E. (2013). Utveckling av andraspråk och utveckling av modersmål i minoritetskontext [Second language and heritage language development]. In M. Axelsson, K. Hyltenstam, I. Lindberg (ed.), Flerspråkighet. En forskningsöversikt [Multilingualism. A research overview] (pp. 153–245). Stockholm: Swedish Research Council.

Bylund, E. (2011c). Language-specific patterns in event conceptualization: Insights from bilingualism. In A. Pavlenko (ed.), Thinking and speaking in two languages (pp. 108-142). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.


Edited volumes/special issues:

Bylund, E. & Athanasopoulos, P. (Eds.) (2015). The language and thought of motion in second language speakers. Special issue of The Modern Language Journal (99).

Athanasopoulos, P., Bylund, E. & Casasanto, D. (Eds.) (2016). New and interdisciplinary perspectives on linguistic relativity. Special issue of Language Learning (66).


Other publications:

Bylund, E. (2012). ‘Language Attrition’ by Monika S. Schmid [invited book review]. Language, 88, 923-926.

Bylund, E. (2016). Förändrar inlärningen av ett nytt språk vår verklighetsuppfattning? Lingua: Språklärarnas tidning, 4, 17–22.


Doctoral dissertations:

Bylund, E. (2009c). Conceptualización de eventos en español y en sueco. Estudios sobre hablantes monolingües y bilingües [Event conceptualization in Spanish and Swedish. Studies on monolingual and bilingual speakers]. Doctoral dissertation in Spanish Linguistics, Stockholm University. Stockholm.

Bylund, E. (2008b). Age differences in first language attrition. A maturational constraints perspective. Doctoral dissertation in Bilingualism Research, Stockholm University. Stockholm.


Externally funded research projects:

2017-2019: “A Compensatory Role for Explicit/Declarative Memory in Grammatical Processing: A Combined Latency, ERP, and tDCS Study of Nativelike Second Language Acquisition”. Co-investigator. (PI: N Abrahamsson.) Funded by the Swedish Research Council

2016-2018: “Motion in mind: The role of language in motion event cognition”. Principal investigator. (co-investigator: G Montero-Melis). Research project funded by the Swedish Research Council.

2011-2013: “Temporal Language and Thought: Language-Specific Spatial Interference in Time Estimations”. Principal investigator. (co-investigator: P Athanasopoulos). Research project funded by the Swedish Research Council.

2010-2012: “Ultimate Attainment in Bilingual and Monolingual Second Language Speakers”. Co-investigator. (PI: N Abrahamsson.) Research project within the programme “Advanced Second Language Use”, funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Fund.

2009-2011:”Language Diversity and Thought: Motion Events in Language, Memory, and Cognition. Co-investigator. (PI: P Athanasopoulos). Bangor University, UK. Research Development Grant.