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Communication Accommodation Theory

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Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.


Academic Paper


Title: Incremental interpretation in second language sentence processing
Author: John N. Williams
Institution: Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics University of Cambridge
Linguistic Field: Semantics; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The degree to which native and non-native readers interpret English sentences incrementally was investigated by examining plausibility effects on reanalysis processes. Experiment 1 required participants to read sentences word by word and to make on-line plausibility judgements. The results showed that natives and non-natives immediately computed the plausibility of the preferred structural analysis, which then affected ease of reanalysis. Experiment 2 required participants to read the same sentences word by word in order to perform a memory task. The natives showed a similar pattern of results to Experiment 1, whereas for the non-natives plausibility effects were delayed. However, the non-natives still appeared to be performing immediate syntactic reanalysis. It is concluded that syntactic processing was person- and task-independent, whereas the incrementality of interpretation was more dependent on task demands for the non-natives than for the natives.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 9, Issue 1.

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