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Reanalysis and lingering misinterpretation of linguistic dependencies in native and non-native sentence comprehension

Fujita, H. and Cunnings, I. (2020) Reanalysis and lingering misinterpretation of linguistic dependencies in native and non-native sentence comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 115. 104154. ISSN 0749-596X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jml.2020.104154

Abstract/Summary

Research on temporarily ambiguous “garden path” sentences (e.g., After Mary dressed the baby laughed) has shown that initially assigned misinterpretations linger after reanalysis of the temporarily ambiguous phrase in both native (L1) and non-native (L2) readers. L2 speakers have particular difficulty with reanalysis, but the source of this L1/L2 difference is debated. Furthermore, how lingering misinterpretation may influence other aspects of language processing has not been systematically examined. We report three offline and two online experiments investigating reanalysis and misinterpretation of filler-gap dependences (e.g., Elisa noticed the truck which the policeman watched the car from). Our results showed that L1 and L2 speakers are prone to lingering misinterpretation during dependency resolution. L1/L2 differences were observed such that L2 speakers had increased difficulty reanalysing some filler-gap dependencies, however this was dependent on how the dependency was disambiguated. These results are compatible with the “good enough” approach to language processing, and suggest that L1/L2 differences are more likely when reanalysis is particularly difficult.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:92359
Publisher:Elsevier

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