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Share Paper 2262

Probing for Intermediate Traces in the Processing of Long-Distance Wh-Dependencies in English as a Second Language
Laurent Dekydtspotter and A. Katherine Miller
113-124 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The authors discuss the results of a priming experiment investigating evidence of reactivation of referents triggered by traces at the clause edge in cases of successive movement. Respondents classified pictures as human or animal, while reading sentences aloud. Modulo working memory capacities, pictures that match concomitantly reactivated referents should be classified more quickly. Native speakers of English indeed produced clause-edge facilitations that suggest movement traces. Learners of English produced clause-edge inhibitions that seem indicative of the presence of intermediate traces, when activation mechanisms are taken into consideration.

Published in

Proceedings of the 10th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2009)
edited by Melissa Bowles, Tania Ionin, Silvina Montrul, and Annie Tremblay
Table of contents
Printed edition: $290.00