Sensitivity to DP-Internal Agreement Violations in L2 Grammar
Fufen Jin, Tor A. Åfarli, and Wim A. van Dommelen
116-126 (complete paper
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This paper uses an auditory naming technique to examine whether highly proficient adult L2 speakers react in a nativelike manner to DP-internal agreement violations in L2 grammar of Norwegian. Norwegian has DPs of 'double definiteness' construction, where there is visible agreement between the prenominal determiner (D) and the suffixed determiner on the noun in terms of definiteness, along with gender and number. The authors use D as primes that are either concordant or discordant with the target nouns in term of gender, number, and definiteness, respectively. Participants in the experiment include three L2 groups and a native control group. Results showed that unlike the native speakers, who were sensitive to the agreement cues on D, the L2 speakers were totally insensitive to the grammatical agreement violations in L2 grammar, whether or not their L1s share agreement properties with the L2. The findings suggest that L2 processing may involve less than full syntactic computation, supporting the Shallow Structure Hypothesis.
Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2008)
edited by Jean Crawford, Koichi Otaki, and Masahiko Takahashi
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