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Morphological variability in second language learners: An examination of electrophysiological and production data
Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för svenska och flerspråkighet, Centrum för tvåspråkighetsforskning.
2017 (engelsk)Inngår i: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, E-ISSN 1939-1285, Vol. 43, nr 10, s. 1509-1536Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

We examined potential sources of morphological variability in adult L1‑English L2‑Spanish learners, with a focus on L1‑L2 similarity, morphological markedness, and knowledge type (receptive vs. expressive). Experiment 1 uses event‑related potentials to examine noun‑adjective number (present in L1) and gender agreement (absent in L1) in online sentence comprehension (receptive knowledge). For each feature, markedness was manipulated, such that half of the critical noun‑adjective combinations were feminine (marked) and the other half, masculine; half were used in the plural (marked) and the other half in the singular. With this set‑up, we examined learners’ potential overreliance on unmarked forms or “defaults” (singular/masculine). Experiment 2 examines similar dependencies in spoken sentence production (expressive knowledge). Results showed that learners (n=22) performed better with number than gender overall, but their brain responses to both features were qualitatively native‑like (i.e., P600), even though gender was probed with nouns that do not provide strong distributional cues to gender. In addition, variability with gender agreement was better accounted for by lexical (as opposed to syntactic) aspects. Learners showed no advantage for comprehension over production. They also showed no systematic evidence of reliance on morphological defaults, although their online processing was sensitive to markedness in a native‑like manner. Overall, these results suggest that there is facilitation for properties of the L2 that exist in the L1 and that markedness impacts L2 processing, but in a native‑like manner. These results also speak against proposals arguing that adult L2ers have deficits at the level of the morphology or the syntax.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2017. Vol. 43, nr 10, s. 1509-1536
Emneord [en]
L2 sentence processing, number and gender agreement, event-related potentials, morphological variability, markedness
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141962DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000394ISI: 000414217800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141962DiVA, id: diva2:1089949
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-04-21 Laget: 2017-04-21 Sist oppdatert: 2018-01-21bibliografisk kontrollert

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