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Academic Paper

Title: Processing of the Reduced Relative Clause Versus Main Verb Ambiguity in L2 Learners at Different Proficiency Levels
Author: Anne Rah
Institution: Universität zu Köln
Author: Dany Adone
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article presents new evidence from offline and online processing of garden-path sentences that are ambiguous between reduced relative clause resolution and main verb resolution. The participants of this study are intermediate and advanced German learners of English who have learned the language in a nonimmersed context. The results show that for second language (L2) learners, there is a dissociation between parsing mechanisms and grammatical knowledge: The learners successfully process the structures in question offline, but the online self-paced reading task shows different patterns for the L2 learners and the native-speaker control group. The results are discussed with regard to shallow processing in L2 learners (Clahsen & Felser, 2006). Because the structures in question differ in English and German, first language (L1) influence is also discussed as an explanation for the findings. The comparison of the three participant groups’ results points to a gradual rather than a fundamental difference between L1 and L2 processing.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 32, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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