“My new study – which I worked on with linguist Emanuel Bylund – shows that bilinguals do indeed think about time differently, depending on the language context in which they are estimating the duration of events. But unlike Hollywood, bilinguals sadly can’t see into the future. However, this study does show that learning a new way to talk about time really does rewire the brain. Our findings are the first psycho-physical evidence of cognitive flexibility in bilinguals.”
Panos Athanasopoulos is Professor of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University. He works in the areas of experimental psycholinguistics, experimental cognitive linguistics, bilingual cognition, linguistic and cultural relativity, first, second and additional language learning.