Clahsen and Felser's (2006) shallow structure hypothesis argues for fundamental differences between native and second language processing, in that fully specified syntactic representations are unavailable to second language learners, who must instead rely on nonstructural information—even at advanced levels. The current study examined whether English-French learners show sensitivity to structure during the online comprehension of indirect object relative clauses. Participants read sentences segment by segment and classified antecedent-matching and nonmatching pictures as ±alive. Response time asymmetries produced advanced learner data that provide evidence for structurally based processing and suggest that learners are not restricted to shallow representations.
Selected Proceedings of the 2009 Second Language Research Forum: Diverse Contributions to SLA
edited by Luke Plonsky and Maren Schierloh
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