Research Topic

Socially Situated? Effects of Social and Cultural Context on Language Processing and Learning

About this Research Topic

An increasing number of findings in psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and the cognitive sciences suggest that the (non-linguistic) socially-interpreted and cultural context can influence language processing and learning. That context could include a speaker’s (or bystander’s) actions, facial expressions, voice or gaze, and gestures, among others. Given the wide variety of contexts (e.g., real-world, videos, still photographs, drawings, narratives, newspaper texts, poems, movies), and of writers, speakers / comprehenders (of different ages, gender, social status, linguistic and cultural background), the extent of such social and cultural effects on language processing and learning remains unclear.

This Research Topic aims to unite findings from the cognitive sciences, psycho-, and neurolinguistics that investigate (and can help delineate) the relevance of as well as the interplay between the socially interpreted and cultural context for language processing and learning. The studies included in this research topic may address the following research questions:

1) To what extent do representations gleaned from the social and cultural context influence language processing and learning?
2) What role do comprehender characteristics and their congruence with the social / culturally-interpreted context and speaker play in these processes?
3) What mechanisms contribute to socially-situated language processing and learning?

We call for manuscripts that provide insight into the extent of social / cultural context influences on language processing and learning. This Research Topic will feature original research, but also commentaries, opinions, and reviews on the latest advances and challenges and provide a discussion forum for a wide range of researchers from the domains of cognitive science, neuro-, and psycholinguistics, among others.


Keywords: Social and cultural context, language processing, language learning


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

An increasing number of findings in psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and the cognitive sciences suggest that the (non-linguistic) socially-interpreted and cultural context can influence language processing and learning. That context could include a speaker’s (or bystander’s) actions, facial expressions, voice or gaze, and gestures, among others. Given the wide variety of contexts (e.g., real-world, videos, still photographs, drawings, narratives, newspaper texts, poems, movies), and of writers, speakers / comprehenders (of different ages, gender, social status, linguistic and cultural background), the extent of such social and cultural effects on language processing and learning remains unclear.

This Research Topic aims to unite findings from the cognitive sciences, psycho-, and neurolinguistics that investigate (and can help delineate) the relevance of as well as the interplay between the socially interpreted and cultural context for language processing and learning. The studies included in this research topic may address the following research questions:

1) To what extent do representations gleaned from the social and cultural context influence language processing and learning?
2) What role do comprehender characteristics and their congruence with the social / culturally-interpreted context and speaker play in these processes?
3) What mechanisms contribute to socially-situated language processing and learning?

We call for manuscripts that provide insight into the extent of social / cultural context influences on language processing and learning. This Research Topic will feature original research, but also commentaries, opinions, and reviews on the latest advances and challenges and provide a discussion forum for a wide range of researchers from the domains of cognitive science, neuro-, and psycholinguistics, among others.


Keywords: Social and cultural context, language processing, language learning


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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