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Quantifying individual differences in native and non-native sentence processing

Cunnings, I. ORCID: and Fujita, H. (2020) Quantifying individual differences in native and non-native sentence processing. Applied Psycholinguistics. ISSN 1469-1817

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0142716420000648


Research in sentence processing has increasingly examined the role of individual differences in language comprehension. In work on native and non-native sentence processing, examining individual differences can contribute crucial insight into theoretical debates about the extent to which nativelike processing is possible in a non-native language. Despite this increased interest in individual differences, whether commonly used psycholinguistic tasks can reliably measure individual differences between participants has not been systematically examined. As a preliminary examination of this issue in non-native processing, we report a self-paced reading experiment on garden-path sentences in native and non-native comprehension. At the group level we replicated previously observed findings in native and non-native speakers. However, while we found that our self-paced reading experiment was a reliable way of assessing individual differences in overall reading speed and comprehension accuracy, it did not consistently measure individual differences in the size of garden-path effects in our sample (N = 64 native and 64 non-native participants, and 24 experimental items). These results suggest that before individual differences in sentence processing can be meaningfully assessed, the question of whether commonly used tasks can consistently measure individual differences requires systematic examination.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:94903
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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