Executive function and Language Learning: Differentiating Vocabulary and Morpho-Syntax

Harriet Stone, Diana Pili-Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In recent years, the debate around the relationship between executive control and bilingual language proficiency has extended to the investigation of the role of the former in second language learning. The present study is based on data collected from 20 native and near-native adult speakers of English and investigated the relationship between the learning of Brocanto2, an artificial language with a complex morpho-syntax, and two measures of executive function - cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control. Although the result of the present study did not support the existence of a significant relationship between executive function and the acquisition of L2 morpho-syntax, they confirmed the role of vocabulary learning as a factor possibly driving the correlations between language learning and executive function found in previous studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-74
Number of pages22
JournalLancaster Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics and Language Teaching
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event10th Lancaster University Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics & Language Teaching 2015 - Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jul 201513 Jul 2015
Conference number: 10


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