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LINGUIST List 22.3856

Tue Oct 04 2011

Diss: Applied Ling/Spanish: Cameron: 'Native and Nonnative ...'

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        1.     Robert Cameron , Native and Nonnative Processing of Modality and Mood in Spanish

Message 1: Native and Nonnative Processing of Modality and Mood in Spanish
Date: 28-Sep-2011
From: Robert Cameron <cameronrdcofc.edu>
Subject: Native and Nonnative Processing of Modality and Mood in Spanish
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Institution: Florida State University
Program: Second Language Acquisition
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Robert Cameron

Dissertation Title: Native and Nonnative Processing of Modality and Mood in

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Dissertation Director(s):
Michael Leeser
Gretchen Sunderman
Patrick Kennell
Michael Kaschak
Carolina Gonzalez

Dissertation Abstract:

The present study reports the findings of two self-paced reading tasks (N = 98).
The primary experiment (subjunctive task) investigated the effects of lexical
preference on L1 Spanish and L2 Spanish readers' processing of the subjunctive
during online sentence processing. Participants of various proficiency levels
(intermediate, high intermediate, advanced and native Spanish speakers) read
sentences that were either ±Form or ±Meaning. The variable 'Form' was
operationalized as a (mis)match between the lexical expression of modality in
the main clause of a sentence and the mood marker (indicative or subjunctive)
on the subordinate verb. The variable 'Meaning' was operationalized as a
(mis)match between the lexical-semantics of the subordinate verb in a sentence
and the action or situation depicted in a corresponding image. The secondary
experiment (local agreement task) investigated the same learners' processing of
localized subject-verb agreement violations during online sentence processing.
The results of the subjunctive task revealed that only native speakers
demonstrated sensitivity (i.e., increased reading times as measured via a self-
paced reading methodology) to modality-mood mismatches (±Form).
Intermediate through advanced-level L2 learners demonstrated sensitivity to
sentence-image mismatches (±Meaning) only. In the local agreement task, only
intermediate L2 learners were not sensitive to grammaticality violations. These
findings are discussed in light of the Lexical Preference Principle (VanPatten,
2004, 2007) and the Shallow Structures Hypothesis (Clahsen & Felser, 2006a,
2006b, 2006c).

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