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ERIC Number: EJ777393
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 26
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0272-2631
Nativelike Biases in Generation of Wh-Questions by Nonnative Speakers of Japanese
Lieberman, Moti; Aoshima, Sachiko; Phillips, Colin
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, v28 n3 p423-448 Sep 2006
A number of studies of second language (L2) sentence processing have investigated whether ambiguity resolution biases in the native language (L1) transfer to superficially similar cognate structures in the L2. When transfer effects are found in such cases, it is difficult to determine whether they reflect surface parallels between the languages or the operation of more abstract processing mechanisms. Wh-questions in English and Japanese present a valuable test case for investigating the relation between L1 and L2 sentence processing. Native speakers (NSs) of English and Japanese both show strong locality biases in processing wh-questions, but these locality biases are realized in rather different ways in the two languages, due to differences in word order and scope marking. Results from a sentence generation study with NSs of Japanese and advanced English-speaking L2 learners of Japanese show that the L2 learners show a strongly nativelike locality bias in the resolution of scope ambiguities for in situ wh-phrases, despite the fact that the closest analogue of such an interpretation is impossible in English. This indicates that L2 learners are guided by abstract processing mechanisms and not just by superficial transfer from the L1. [This research was also supported by the Human Frontier Science Program.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A