Measuring Creative Ability in Spoken Bilingual Text: The Role of Language Proficiency and Linguistic Features

AbstractWhereas first language (L1) research has demonstrated that perceptions of creative ability are influenced by the complexity and diversity of language used to answer verbal tests of creativity, relatively little is known about the linguistic components of bilingual creative task performance. In this study, we analyze written transcripts of speech produced by 466 Japanese learners of English produced during a creative narrative task for features related to linguistic and cognitive dimensions of creativity. Then, we extract various linguistic features and test whether these features can predict human perceptions of creativity for the transcripts. Unlike L1 data, results suggest text length and L2 proficiency comprise the most parsimonious explanation of creativity scores in this L2 data. At the same time, linguistic features related to positive sentiment explained a significant yet small amount of additional variance in perceptions of creativity, suggesting texts with more positive language were perceived to be more creative.

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