Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at https://linguistlist.org/!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at webdevlinguistlist.org***

Academic Paper


Title: Quantification cues modulate the processing of English subject-verb agreement by native Chinese speakers: an ERP study
Author: Andrew Armstrong
Author: Nyssa Bulkes
Author: Darren Tanner
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Syntax
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
English
Abstract: Numerous studies have demonstrated that native Mandarin speakers have pervasive difficulties processing L2 English agreement morphology. However, less is known about the lexical and morphological cues that may modulate Mandarin speakers’ sensitivity to English number agreement. To investigate this, we examined subject-verb agreement processing in English by L1 Mandarin participants using event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and focused on the use of quantificational cues to noun number and their interaction with agreement morphology on the verb. Previous work in English monolinguals has shown that agreement violations elicited larger P600s when preceded by a plurally quantified subject noun phrase (NP) compared to an unquantified NP. In the present study, Mandarin speakers were tested on the same quantified and unquantified sentences (e.g., Most/The cookies taste/*tastes…) as in the prior work. Like the L1 English speakers, ERPs time-locked to the verb showed a reliable P600 in response to agreement violations. However, the P600 in Mandarin speakers was larger for ungrammatical verbs with unquantified subjects, a contrast with English monolinguals. First, these results demonstrate that L2 agreement violations can elicit qualitatively similar neural responses in L1 Mandarin speakers as in English monolinguals (P600 effects), a finding that is to our knowledge novel. Second, quantification modulated the P600 in the L2 speakers in a qualitatively different way than in natives. Overall, these findings suggest stronger reliance on lexical versus morphological cues to number in Mandarin speakers, and that this impacts anticipation of subsequent grammatical features.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 40, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

Return to TOC.

View the full article for free in the current issue of
Cambridge Extra Magazine!
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page