Vincenzo James Harty ‘22

Vincenzo James Harty

Major: Integrative (Cognitive) Neuroscience and French Studies
Bio: Vincenzo is a senior double majoring in Integrative Neuroscience and French Studies as well as a member of the Fordham Lincoln Center Honors Program. He is a member of  Dr. Sarah Grey’s EEG Lab for Language and Multilingualism Research at Fordham and conducted his senior neuroscience research with Dr. Grey. Vincenzo’s research tested emotionally-valenced colour associations in English-speaking learners of French as a second language.. In his spare time Vincenzo enjoys reading, dancing, and drink.

Title of Research: Feeling blue and voir rouge : Colour-Emotion Associations in French L2 Learners
Mentor: Dr. Sarah Grey, Department of Modern Languages and Literature
Abstract: This study examined how French learners’ associations between colours and emotionally valenced words in their native language (L1) and non-native, second language (L2). Previous studies have shown differences between English and French speakers on their colour/emotion associations; cultural and linguistic differences have both been shown to mediate the emotionally-valenced associations individuals have when presented with colour terminology (e.g., Jonauskaite et al., 2020; Soriano & Valenzuela, 2009). Following Jonauskaite et al., this study enlisted as participants English speakers who are learning French at Fordham University (at the undergraduate level) and have intermediate proficiency or higher. Participants in this study were native English speakers learning French as a second language in a classroom setting. They completed an online survey delivered via Qualtrics both in English and French in which they were presented with each of the eleven most common colour terms and were asked to rate their emotional associations using emotionally valenced words such as joy, sadness, anger, surprise, and pride. This rating procedure was adapted from the Geneva Emotion Wheel (Scherer, 2005). Based on previous studies on colour-emotion associations, we hypothesised that typically French colour associations may be transferred to English speakers during French learning, particularly in higher proficiency French learners. Alternatively, learners may retain typically English colour associations in their L2.