Multilinguals' perceptions of feeling different when switching languages

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Dewaele, Jean-Marc ; Nakano, S. (2012)

Research into multilingualism and personality has shown that a majority of multilinguals report feeling different when they switch from one language to another. The present study looks at perceived shifts on five scales of feelings\ud (feeling logical, serious, emotional, fake and different) in pair-wise comparisons between languages following the order of acquisition (L1/L2, L2/L3 and L3/L4). Participants were 106 adult multilinguals with a total of 31 different first languages. The results showed a systematic shift on most scales across the four languages, with participants feeling gradually less logical, less serious, less\ud emotional and increasingly fake when using the L2, L3 and L4. Regression analyses showed that self-perceived proficiency was a significant predictor of shift on the feelings scales in the L3.
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