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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

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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."

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Academic Paper

Title: We Could Have Loved and Lost, or We Never Could Have Love at All
Author: Mark A. Conroy
Institution: University of New England
Author: Linda Cupples
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Macquarie University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study investigated sentence-processing strategies adopted by advanced nonnative speakers (NNSs) and native speakers (NSs) of English in the context of an English structure with which NNSs reportedly have an acquisition difficulty (e.g., Swan & Smith, 2001)???namely, modal perfect (MP). Participants read MP sentences such as He could have worked at the shoe factory and closely related analogous sentences (e.g., He could have work at the shoe factory), and reading times and errors were measured in an online grammaticality-judgment task. It was hypothesized that NSs would have a processing preference for MP sentences compared to the analogues, reflecting the primacy of syntactic information in NS processing and a preference for late closure, whereas NNSs would show no such preference because they rely less on syntactic information when processing sentences. The results revealed, however, that both NSs and NNSs read MP sentences more quickly and with fewer errors than the closely related analogues, consistent with a processing preference for MP sentences. Both groups were also influenced by word-category frequency information, which moderated, but did not fundamentally alter, their syntactic preference for MP. The significance of these findings is discussed in terms of models of second-language sentence processing and NNSs??? reported MP acquisition difficulty.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 32, Issue 4.

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