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: Agreement attraction in native and nonnative speakers of German
Author: Sol Lago
Author: Claudia Felser
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: German
Abstract: Second language speakers often struggle to apply grammatical constraints such as subject–verb agreement. One hypothesis for this difficulty is that it results from problems suppressing syntactically unlicensed constituents in working memory. We investigated which properties of these constituents make them more likely to elicit errors: their grammatical distance to the subject head or their linear distance to the verb. We used double modifier constructions (e.g., the smell of the stables of the farmers), where the errors of native speakers are modulated by the linguistic relationships between the nouns in the subject phrase: second plural nouns, which are syntactically and semantically closer to the subject head, elicit more errors than third plural nouns, which are linearly closer to the verb (2nd-3rd-noun asymmetry). In order to dissociate between grammatical and linear distance, we compared embedded and coordinated modifiers, which were linearly identical but differed in grammatical distance. Using an attraction paradigm, we showed that German native speakers and proficient Russian speakers of German exhibited similar attraction rates and that their errors displayed a 2nd-3rd-noun asymmetry, which was more pronounced in embedded than in coordinated constructions. We suggest that both native and second language learners prioritize linguistic structure over linear distance in their agreement computations.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 39, Issue 3, 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