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Bookmark and Share Paper 2926

Processing Relative/Sentence Complement Clauses in Immersed Spanish-English Speakers
Álvaro Villegas, Josep Demestre, and Paola E. Dussias
70-79 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The present study investigates whether proficient second language (L2) speakers of English whose first language (L1) is Spanish show processing strategies in their L1 that are different from Spanish monolingual speakers after an extended period of immersion in the L2 environment. Participants read sentences in their L1 that were syntactically ambiguous between a sentence complement (SC) reading and a relative clause (RC) reading. The sentences were disambiguated by the presence of a verb in the subjunctive or indicative mood in the ambiguous clause. Data were collected using a non-cumulative self-paced reading task. Results show that immersed L1 Spanish - L2 English speakers show processing patterns in their first language that are similar to monolingual controls. These findings suggest that intense exposure to English did not affect the immersed group's ability to use Spanish morphology to resolve the syntactic ambiguity.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 16th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Jennifer Cabrelli Amaro, Gillian Lord, Ana de Prada Pérez, and Jessi Elana Aaron
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Printed edition: $310.00