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Academic Paper

Title: Interaction and Syntactic Priming: English L2 speakers' production of dative constructions
Author: Kim McDonough
Institution: Concordia University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Syntax
Abstract: Interaction research about the role of language production in second language (L2) development has focused largely on modified output, specifically learners' responses to negative feedback (Iwashita, 2001; Loewen & Philp, in press; Mackey & Philp, 1998;
McDonough, 2005; McDonough & Mackey, in press; Nobuyoshi & Ellis, 1993; Pica, 1988; Shehadeh, 2001). However, other processes involved in language production might help account for the beneficial relationship between interaction and L2 development. This paper reports the findings of two experiments that examined the occurrence of syntactic priming--a speaker's tendency to produce a previously spoken or heard structure-during interaction between L2 English speakers. Both studies used confederate scripting to elicit dative constructions from advanced English L2 speakers. In experiment 1, the participants (n = 50) were exposed to both prepositional and double-object dative primes. The linear mixed-model analysis indicated that syntactic priming occurred with prepositional datives only. In experiment 2, the English L2 participants (n = 54) received double-object dative primes only; results showed no evidence of syntactic priming. The implications are discussed in terms of the potential role of syntactic priming in driving L2 development in interactive contexts.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 28, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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