Study: Acceptability Judgments in German
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I would like to give a big "thank you" to everyone that participated in my
psycholinguistic study on acceptability judgements! I made an online
survey during the time of the 21st of August until the 17th of
September, for which the test persons had to judge a number of
sentences in German. Contrary to the assumption of some test
persons, no sentence was repeated - only their structures followed a
special system. In the end 644 test persons filled in the questionnaire
(with 21 non-native speaker of the German language).
The aim of the study is to learn more about the effect of regional
differences that influence the acceptability judgements of syntactically
varying structures that differed from normal sentence schemes.
Furthermore, a special method was used, called "Magnitude
Estimation". This method was realized in a web-based manner. It offers
us the possibility to compare the new results with conventional surveys.
With Magnitude Estimation the test person creates their own rating
scale without making recourse to a fixed 5- or 7-point-scale. I wanted to
determine how test persons use the open scale and how wide they set
the scope of the scale. For example, is there a zero point in the
acceptability, that is, is it always possible to judge sentences as more
ungrammatical as previous ones or is there a saturation point?
Currently, we're working on a detailed evaluation and analysis of the
data. First results show that there are regional differences concerning
the acceptability of structures that differ more or less from standard
structures (in written language).
Thanks to all test persons and also thanks to The LINGUIST List, which
helped me reach a lot of interested people.
University of Göttingen, Germany
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