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The Role of Genericity in Online Grammar Processing by Japanese Adult L2 Learners and Japanese Child L2 Learners of English
Neal Snape, Makiko Hirakawa, Yahiro Hirakawa, Hironobu Hosoi, and John Matthews
193-202 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The current study is the first to examine the role of genericity in online grammar processing. The authors tested 26 adult and 14 child Japanese L2 learners of English and 18 English native controls. English marks genericity through the use of the definite singular for NP-level genericity, the indefinite singular for sentence-level genericity and bare plurals for both types of genericity. Japanese is a language that lacks articles and bare plurals. They administered a self-paced reading time experiment and predicted that L2 learners would take longer in reading the definite singular NP-level generic contexts given that the is more complex semantically than a. They predicted no differences would be found between the two types of bare plurals. The findings show that the L2 learners had more difficulty with NP-level genericity than sentence-level genericity in online grammar processing.

Published in

Proceedings of the 12th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2013)
edited by Jennifer Cabrelli Amaro, Tiffany Judy, and Diego Pascual y Cabo
Table of contents
Printed edition: $290.00