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L3 sentence processing: Language-specific or phenomenon-sensitive?

L3 sentence processing: Language-specific or phenomenon-sensitive?
L3 sentence processing: Language-specific or phenomenon-sensitive?
The article investigates non-native sentence processing and examines the existing scholarly approaches to L2 processing with a population of L3 learners of English, whose native language is Russian. In a self-paced reading experiment, native speakers of Russian and English, as well as (low) intermediate L3 learners of English, read ambiguous relative clauses (RC) and decided on their attachment interpretation: high attachment (HA) or low attachment (LA). In the two-by-two design, linguistic decision-making was prompted by lexical semantic cues vs. a structural change caused by a certain type of matrix verb. The results show that whenever a matrix verb caused a change of syntactic modification, which entailed HA, both native and non-native speakers abandoned the default English-like LA and chose HA. Lexical semantic cues did not have any significant effect in RC attachment resolution. The study provides experimental evidence in favor of the similarity of native and non-native processing strategies. Both native speakers and L3 learners of English apply structural processing strategies and show similar sensitivity to a linguistic prompt that shapes RC resolution. Native and non-native processing is found to be prediction-based; structure building is performed in a top-down manner.
2226-471X
Sokolova, Marina
b63fe9e2-c967-4119-9e09-2f9872383b49
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Sokolova, Marina
b63fe9e2-c967-4119-9e09-2f9872383b49
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde

Sokolova, Marina and Slabakova, Roumyana (2019) L3 sentence processing: Language-specific or phenomenon-sensitive? Languages, 4 (54), [54]. (doi:10.3390/languages4030054).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The article investigates non-native sentence processing and examines the existing scholarly approaches to L2 processing with a population of L3 learners of English, whose native language is Russian. In a self-paced reading experiment, native speakers of Russian and English, as well as (low) intermediate L3 learners of English, read ambiguous relative clauses (RC) and decided on their attachment interpretation: high attachment (HA) or low attachment (LA). In the two-by-two design, linguistic decision-making was prompted by lexical semantic cues vs. a structural change caused by a certain type of matrix verb. The results show that whenever a matrix verb caused a change of syntactic modification, which entailed HA, both native and non-native speakers abandoned the default English-like LA and chose HA. Lexical semantic cues did not have any significant effect in RC attachment resolution. The study provides experimental evidence in favor of the similarity of native and non-native processing strategies. Both native speakers and L3 learners of English apply structural processing strategies and show similar sensitivity to a linguistic prompt that shapes RC resolution. Native and non-native processing is found to be prediction-based; structure building is performed in a top-down manner.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 7 July 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 July 2019
Published date: July 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432691
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432691
ISSN: 2226-471X
PURE UUID: 442ab6f4-faeb-4983-9dc8-fe10f9b79bae
ORCID for Roumyana Slabakova: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5839-460X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:01

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Contributors

Author: Marina Sokolova

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