This is the native speaker that the non-native speaker outperformed: Individual, education-related differences in the processing and interpretation of Object Relative Clauses by native and non-native speakers of English

Street, James (2017) This is the native speaker that the non-native speaker outperformed: Individual, education-related differences in the processing and interpretation of Object Relative Clauses by native and non-native speakers of English. Language Sciences, 59. pp. 192-203. ISSN 0388-0001

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2016.10.004

Abstract

This paper provides experimental evidence for considerable education-related differences in processing and comprehension of predicate nominal Object Relative Clauses. The experiment measured high academic attainment (HAA) and low academic attainment (LAA), native and non-native speakers' response time and decision accuracy using an online sentence-picture matching task which compared processing and comprehension of Active Transitive and Subject and Object Relative Clause sentences (e.g., This is the girl that hit the boy, This is the girl that the boy hit). The results support usage-based (e.g., Barlow and Kemmer, 2000; Bybee, 2010; Langacker, 2000) and constraint-based approaches, particularly those that predict that participants' performance is shaped by regularity, frequency and direct experience of the constructions (e.g., MacDonald and Christiansen, 2002). All groups processed Actives and Subject Relative Clauses faster than Object Relative Clauses whilst the LAA native and HAA non-native participants made significantly more errors with Object Relative Clauses than Active and Subject Relative Clause sentences. However, since the results show evidence of non-native speakers outperforming (some) native speakers in an online task tapping knowledge of complex grammar, they are problematic for accounts which posit that only non-native speakers are restricted to ‘shallow’ syntactic processing (e.g., Clahsen and Felser, 2006).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Subject relative clause; Object relative clause; Sentence processing; Linguistic competence; Linguistic performance; Usage-based; Constraint-based
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2016 12:20
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2016 12:20
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/28776

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