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Evolutionary Syntax

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Academic Paper

Title: Processing of regular and irregular past tense morphology in highly proficient second language learners of English: A self-paced reading study
Author: Christos Pliatsikas
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Institution: University of Reading
Author: Theodoros Marinis
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Institution: University of Reading
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Greek, Modern
Abstract: Dual-system models suggest that English past tense morphology involves two processing routes: rule application for regular verbs and memory retrieval for irregular verbs. In second language (L2) processing research, Ullman suggested that both verb types are retrieved from memory, but more recently Clahsen and Felser and Ullman argued that past tense rule application can be automatized with experience by L2 learners. To address this controversy, we tested highly proficient Greek–English learners with naturalistic or classroom L2 exposure compared to native English speakers in a self-paced reading task involving past tense forms embedded in plausible sentences. Our results suggest that, irrespective to the type of exposure, proficient L2 learners of extended L2 exposure apply rule-based processing.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 34, Issue 5, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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