28 intermediate and 22 advanced L2 learners (the experimental groups) and 20 native speakers of English (the control group) participated in a study that investigated second language learners' interpretation of reflexives in the VP-elliptical sentences. 17 experimental sentences in a null context, 17 experimental sentences followed by a referential context favoring the "strict" reading interpretation, 17 experimental sentences followed by a non-referential context not favoring the "strict" reading interpretation, and 51 filler items were presented to the participants using a judgment task in which each sentence is followed by two alternative interpretations (Frazier and Clifton 2000). The results indicate that adult L2 learners' interpretation of such construction in English was constrained by the minimal processing cost and contextual effects of RT. They interpreted the reflexive in a null context "sloppily", indicating the constraints of the minimal processing cost of RT. The contextual effects of RT were shown in their "strict" reading of the reflexive in a referential context.
Proceedings of the 6th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2002): L2 Links
edited by Juana M. Liceras, Helmut Zobl, and Helen Goodluck
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