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Processing tense/aspect-agreement violations on-line in the second language: A self-paced reading study with French and German L2 learners of English

Processing tense/aspect-agreement violations on-line in the second language: A self-paced reading study with French and German L2 learners of English

Roberts, Leah and Liszka, Sarah Ann (2013) Processing tense/aspect-agreement violations on-line in the second language: A self-paced reading study with French and German L2 learners of English. Second Language Research, 29 (4). pp. 413-439. ISSN 0267-6583 (Print), 1477-0326 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658313503171)

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Abstract

In this article, we report the results of a self-paced reading experiment designed to investigate the question of whether or not advanced French and German learners of English as a second language (L2) are sensitive to tense/aspect mismatches between a fronted temporal adverbial and the inflected verb that follows (e.g. *Last week, James has gone swimming every day) in their on-line comprehension. The L2 learners were equally able to distinguish correctly the past simple from the present perfect as measured by a traditional cloze test production task. They were also both able to assess the mismatch items as less acceptable than the match items in an off-line judgment task. Using a self-paced reading task, we investigated whether they could access this knowledge during real-time processing. Despite performing similarly in the explicit tasks, the two learner groups processed the experimental items differently from each other in real time. On-line, only the French L2 learners were sensitive to the mismatch conditions in both the past simple and the present perfect contexts, whereas the German L2 learners did not show a processing cost at all for either mismatch type. We suggest that the performance differences between the L2 groups can be explained by influences from the learners’ first language (L1): namely, only those whose L1 has grammaticized aspect (French) were sensitive to the tense/aspect violations on-line, and thus could be argued to have implicit knowledge of English tense/aspect distinctions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: tense, second language, self-paced reading, French, German, L2, learners, English
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Social, Political & Cultural Studies
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:23
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/9317

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