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You searched for subject:(Shallow structure hypothesis). Showing records 1 – 2 of 2 total matches.

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University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

1. Kim, Eun-Ah. Grammatical constraints in second language sentence processing.

Degree: PhD, 0301, 2014, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

A central issue in L2 research concerns the nature of grammatical representations that late L2 learners come to develop in the L2. Previous work suggests that L2 learners sometimes underuse morpho-syntactic information during online processing of L2 sentences, leading to an ongoing debate about how they represent and process structural information in sentence processing. Some researchers propose that L2 sentence processing is qualitatively different from L1 sentence processing in that the former characteristically involves ‘shallow’ structural analysis (Clahsen & Felser, 2006a), whereas other researchers suggest that the differences between L1 and L2 processing are attributable to quantitative factors such as the amount of language experience, the proficiency level in the target language or the availability of processing resources (Frenck-Mestre, 2002; Hopp, 2006; McDonald, 2006). The present dissertation seeks to further our understanding of adult L2 syntactic processing by examining L2 learners’ sensitivity to ‘island constraints’ (Ross, 1976) in the course of online processing of long-distance wh-dependencies, using plausibility judgments and eye-movement monitoring techniques. In Experiment 1, a stop-making-sense task was conducted to investigate L2 learners’ sensitivity to the subject/relative clause island constraint in online plausibility judgments. The native speakers showed immediate sensitivity to island constraints, as evidenced by the fact that although they interpreted a wh-dependency at the earliest possible gap site when it is grammatically licit, they suspended the immediate gap postulation within a syntactic island. The L2 learners were not as efficient as native speakers in suppressing active gap search, but they ultimately ruled out an illegal dependency, in accordance with the island constraint. Experiment 2 employed eye-movement monitoring techniques to examine the way native speakers and L2 learners apply the subject/relative clause island constraint when processing filler-gap dependencies under a more natural reading situation. Working memory capacity of the participants was also measured in an attempt to capture potential individual differences in filler-gap processing and grammar application. The results indicate that even native speakers failed to immediately suppress automatic active gap creation inside an island in this natural reading situation, and both groups applied island constraints at a later stage. There was also suggestive evidence that readers with larger working memory capacity applied island constraints earlier than those with smaller working memory capacity, in both native speakers and L2 learners, suggesting that more processing resources may allow a more rapid and efficient application of grammatical constraints. Experiment 3 investigated whether L2 learners are sensitive to a more subtle grammatical distinction – differential distribution of parasitic gaps within two kinds of extraction islands (i.e., subjects with an infinitival complement vs.… Advisors/Committee Members: Montrul, Silvina A. (advisor), Montrul, Silvina A. (Committee Chair), Yoon, Hye Suk James (committee member), Ionin, Tania (committee member), Christianson, Kiel (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: second language processing; second language acquisition; island constraints; Shallow Structure Hypothesis

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Kim, E. (2014). Grammatical constraints in second language sentence processing. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2142/49779

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Kim, Eun-Ah. “Grammatical constraints in second language sentence processing.” 2014. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. Accessed June 18, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/2142/49779.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Kim, Eun-Ah. “Grammatical constraints in second language sentence processing.” 2014. Web. 18 Jun 2019.

Vancouver:

Kim E. Grammatical constraints in second language sentence processing. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign; 2014. [cited 2019 Jun 18]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/49779.

Council of Science Editors:

Kim E. Grammatical constraints in second language sentence processing. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign; 2014. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/49779


University of Michigan

2. Hettiarachchi Gamage, Sujeewa. Syntactic Competence and Processing: Constraints on Long-distance A-bar Dependencies in Bilinguals.

Degree: PhD, Linguistics, 2015, University of Michigan

This dissertation investigates the syntactic competence and processing of A-bar dependencies by Sinhala native speakers in their L2 English. The specific focus is on wh-dependencies (wh-questions and relative clauses) and topicalization, given that these phenomena are syntactically distinct across the two languages. Presenting novel results from a series of psycholinguistic experiments, the study reevaluates the predictive and explanatory power of two recent hypotheses in generative SLA —the Feature Interpretability Hypothesis (FIH) and the Shallow Structure Hypothesis (SSH)— which concern the kind of ultimate attainment possible in post-childhood L2 acquisition, regarding syntactic competence and real-time processing. The first part of the dissertation is a re-evaluation of the FIH, in particular the claim that post-childhood L2 learners fail to develop native-like underlying mental representations for the target language syntax because their access to UG is restricted in the domain of uninterpretable syntactic features. Two experiments (Grammaticality Judgment and Truth-value Judgment tasks) were conducted with thirty-eight Sinhala L1/English L2 speakers and a control group of thirty-one English monolinguals. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that highly proficient L2 speakers are capable of acquiring native-like syntactic competence even in those domains where L2 acquisition involves the mastery of a new uninterpretable feature. The fact that these L2ers have been able to overcome a poverty of the stimulus problem, imposed by both their L1 syntax and L2 input, implies that full access to UG is available in post-childhood L2 acquisition, against the predictions of the FIH. The second part of the dissertation re-evaluates a tenet of the Shallow Structure Hypothesis that in real-time processing of the target language, L2 speakers fail to build full-fledged syntactic representations, but instead over-rely on non-syntactic information (lexical semantics and contextual cues), unlike native speakers of a target language. Our results from two Self-paced Reading experiments with thirty-six bilinguals and thirty-nine monolinguals support the conclusion that advanced L2 learners are capable of building complex native-like syntactic representations during their real-time comprehension of the target language. Thus, the study concludes that neither the FIH nor the SSH can be maintained in the experimental L2 acquisition domain investigated in this dissertation. Advisors/Committee Members: Pires, Acrisio (committee member), Boland, Julie (committee member), Epstein, Samuel D (committee member), Herschensohn, Julia Rogers (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: L2 Sentence Processing; Second Language Acquisition; Syntax; Sinhala; Shallow structure hypothesis; Feature interpretability hypothesis; Linguistics; Humanities

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Hettiarachchi Gamage, S. (2015). Syntactic Competence and Processing: Constraints on Long-distance A-bar Dependencies in Bilinguals. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/116655

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Hettiarachchi Gamage, Sujeewa. “Syntactic Competence and Processing: Constraints on Long-distance A-bar Dependencies in Bilinguals.” 2015. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan. Accessed June 18, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/116655.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Hettiarachchi Gamage, Sujeewa. “Syntactic Competence and Processing: Constraints on Long-distance A-bar Dependencies in Bilinguals.” 2015. Web. 18 Jun 2019.

Vancouver:

Hettiarachchi Gamage S. Syntactic Competence and Processing: Constraints on Long-distance A-bar Dependencies in Bilinguals. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2015. [cited 2019 Jun 18]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/116655.

Council of Science Editors:

Hettiarachchi Gamage S. Syntactic Competence and Processing: Constraints on Long-distance A-bar Dependencies in Bilinguals. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2015. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/116655

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