Jacqueline Phuong Nguyen Humanities and Social Science
Does Speaking More than One Language Make it Easier to See More Than One Perspective?
Understanding linguistic subjectivity means recognizing that two speakers of a language can disagree about what counts as beautiful, or tall.” Adults can understand and easily accept when people disagree on subjective properties of the world; however, children seem to fail to do so until much later. On the other hand, when exposed to two subjective opinions, children often assert that only one opinion could be correct. In turn, my research question asks whether or not bilingual children are more likely to be able to understand and acknowledge that two people can disagree about a subjective property. In knowing two different languages, bilingual children have been found to exhibit increased executive functioning and metalinguistic awareness skills. In better comprehending how children come to accept subjectivity in language, we can better support children’s social development and understand how we come to cooperate with each other as adults.