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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Academic Paper


Title: The on-line application of binding Principle A in English as a second language
Author: Claudia Felser
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Universität Potsdam
Author: Mikako Sato
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University College London
Author: Nick Bertenshaw
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Portsmouth
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Japanese
Abstract: We report the results from two experiments investigating proficient Japanese-speaking learners' processing of reflexive object pronouns in English as a second language (L2). Experiment 1 used a timed grammaticality judgement task to assess learners' sensitivity to binding Principle A under processing pressure, and Experiment 2 investigated the time-course of reflexive anaphor resolution during L2 reading using the eye-movement monitoring technique. Taken together, our results show that despite having demonstrated native-like knowledge of reflexive binding in corresponding untimed tasks, the learners processed English reflexives differently from native speakers in that they took into consideration a matching discourse-prominent but binding-theoretically inappropriate antecedent when first encountering a reflexive. This suggests that unlike what has been reported in corresponding monolingual processing research (Sturt, 2003), initial antecedent search in L2 English is not constrained by binding Principle A.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 12, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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