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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2022

Cognitive Sociolinguistics in Development

Eline Zenner, Tessa Henckens, Ellen Rouzée, Laura Rosseel and Stefania Marzo


This paper incorporates an applied perspective to the developmental agenda in Cognitive Sociolinguistics. Particularly, we verify the effectiveness of foreign language display in marketing targeting adolescents. A between-subject experiment contrasting English and Italian slogans in a pizza advertisement reveals little effect of language choice on Belgian Dutch respondents’ (N=194) perception of product quality and characteristics, nor on reported purchase intention. A post-test on the same respondent sample targeting perceptual salience of the written text in the advertisement, the success of the manipulation, comprehension of the foreign language slogans, and the reported fit between slogan and product helps unpack the lack of outspoken results. From here on, several promising directions are derived for future inquiry into the mental processes involved in adolescents’ response to socially meaningful language variation in professional communication.

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