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Parsing preferences and individual differences in non-native sentence processing: evidence from eye-movements

Cheng, Y., Rothman, J. and Cunnings, I. ORCID: (2021) Parsing preferences and individual differences in non-native sentence processing: evidence from eye-movements. Applied Psycholinguistics, 42 (1). pp. 129-151. ISSN 0142-7164

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S014271642000065X


Using both offline and online measures, the present study investigates attachment resolution in relative clauses (RC) in English natives (L1) and non-natives (L2). We test how RC resolution interacts with linguistic factors and participant-level individual differences. Previous L1 English studies have demonstrated a low attachment preference and also an “ambiguity advantage”, suggesting that L1ers may not have as strong a low attachment preference as is sometimes claimed. We employ a similar design to examine this effect in L1 and L2 comprehension. Offline results indicate that both groups exhibit a low attachment preference, positively correlated with reading span scores and with proficiency in the L2 group. Online results also suggest a low attachment preference in both groups. However, our data show that individual differences influence online attachment resolution for both native and non-natives; higher lexical processing efficiency correlates with quicker resolution of linguistic conflicts. We argue that the current findings suggest that attachment resolution during L1 and L2 processing share the same processing mechanisms and are modulated by similar individual differences.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:95345
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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