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ERIC Number: EJ1039953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0272-2631
Processing Focus Structure in L1 and L2 French: L2 Proficiency Effects on ERPs
Reichle, Robert V.; Birdsong, David
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, v36 n3 p535-564 Sep 2014
This study examined the event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by focus processing among first language (L1) speakers and second language (L2) learners of French. Participants read wh-questions containing explicit focus marking, followed by responses instantiating contrastive and informational focus. We hypothesized that L2 proficiency would modulate nativelikeness in L2 processing. For the L1 and L2 groups, widespread word-long positive shifts reflected the processing of nouns receiving informational and contrastive focus. Nouns receiving contrastive focus showed an increased anterior negativity compared to informational focus for both groups. Second language proficiency modulated the amplitude of this negativity effect, and subgroup analyses of low- and highproficiency L2 learners showed no significant effect of focus condition among low-proficiency learners. This modulatory relationship between L2 proficiency and nativelikeness of processing is consistent with the dynamic sequence of L2 ERPs observed for morphosyntactic processing and extends those findings to the syntaxpragmatics interface phenomenon of focus processing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A