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Academic Paper


Title: Decomposition of Inflected Words in a Second Language
Author: Kathleen Neubauer
Institution: University of Essex
Author: Harald Clahsen
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~harald/
Institution: Universität Potsdam
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: German participles offer a distinction between regular forms that are suffixed with –'t' and do not exhibit any stem changes and irregular forms that all have the ending –'n' and sometimes undergo (largely unpredictable) stem changes. This article reports the results from a series of psycholinguistic experiments (acceptability judgments, lexical decision, and masked priming) that investigate regular and irregular participle forms in adult native speakers of German in comparison to advanced adult second language (L2) learners of German with Polish as their first language (L1). The most striking L1-L2 contrasts were found for regular participles. Although the L1 group's performance was influenced by the combinatorial structure of regular participle forms, this was not the case for the L2 group. These findings suggest that adult L2 learners are less sensitive to morphological structure than native speakers and rely more on lexical storage than on morphological parsing during processing.

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This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 31, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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