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Analyzing Linguistic Prefixes and Bilingualism: A Data-Driven Study

In this comprehensive analysis, we delve into the intriguing realm of linguistic prefixes and their impact on reaction times (RT). We examine the distinct RTs associated with 'in-' and 'un-' prefixes, shedding light on how these linguistic components influence cognitive processes. Additionally, we explore the differences in RT between bilingual and monolingual individuals, offering valuable insights into the cognitive effects of language proficiency. The study employs rigorous statistical tests, revealing intriguing findings that highlight the significance of linguistic nuances. Furthermore, we address the correlation between students' perceived and actual language abilities over time, showcasing the dynamics of self-perception in language acquisition. This data-driven study contributes to our understanding of language processing and cognitive patterns.

Problem Description

The Data Analysis assignment involves analyzing reaction times (RT) in the context of linguistic prefixes and bilingualism. Specifically, it explores the mean RTs for different prefixes and compares the RTs between bilingual and monolingual participants. Additionally, it examines the correlation between students' ability to speak Irish and their perception of their abilities over time.

Question 1: Prefix Comparison

  • Mean RT for words with 'in-' prefix: 1206.46 (Standard deviation: 240.0684)
  • Mean RT for words with 'un-' prefix: 1152.985 (Standard deviation: 221.5581)

Question 2: Bilingual vs. Monolingual Comparison

  • Mean RT for bilinguals: 1192.594 (Standard deviation: 225.8611)
  • Mean RT for monolinguals: 1166.851 (Standard deviation: 238.4756)

Question 3: Visualization

Visualization of The Mean Values of The Variables

Fig 1: Visualization of the mean values of the variables

  • In the visualizations, the red points represent the mean values of the variables.

Question 4: Statistical Tests

  • To compare mean RTs for bilingual and monolingual participants, we used an unpaired two-sample t-test.
  • To compare RTs for 'in-' and 'un-' prefixes, we used a paired sample t-test.

Question 5: Test Results

  • Monolinguals vs. Bilinguals: t(27.432) = -0.04296, p = 0.966. Therefore, the difference between means is not statistically significant. The effect size is negligible.
  • 'In-' vs. 'un-' prefixes: t(17) = 3.1764, p = 0.0055. Therefore, the difference between means is statistically significant. The effect size is small.

Question 6: Conclusion

  • From the analysis, it can be concluded that, regarding the monolingual and bilingual variables, there is no significant difference in reaction time. However, there is a statistical difference in reaction time between the 'in-' and 'un-' prefixes.

Question 5B: Longitudinal Study Q1:

  • The relationship between students' abilities to speak Irish and their perception of their abilities at Time 2 appears to be approximately positively correlated. This suggests that as students' abilities remained unchanged from Time 1 to Time 2, their perception of their abilities decreased, indicating that they now perceive themselves to be more skilled in speaking Irish.


  • Using a paired samples t-test is a suitable approach for longitudinal studies, especially when analyzing data with repeated measurements from the same participants. It allows for the comparison of data over time while accounting for individual variations.

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