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Second language learners' native-like grammatical processing: evidence from structural priming in Mandarin Chinese

二語習得者近似母語者之語句處理歷程:來自漢語為二語者所展現之句法啟動

Abstracts


There is an ongoing debate regarding whether adult second language learners (hereafter L2ers) can employ a native-like representation of syntax in grammatical processing. The current study investigated the exhibition of structural priming in comprehension-to-production and cumulative presentation contexts by Mandarin L2ers with intermediate to advanced proficiency from diverse L1 backgrounds using the Mandarin SVO-ba (SbaOV) alternation, with a latter construction that does not exist in Mandarin L2ers' L1s. The results indicate that Mandarin L2ers can exhibit structural priming in these contexts and that they exhibit cumulative structural priming for both constructions. In addition, an inverse-frequency effect on the ba-construction in the cumulative structural priming suggested that they also exhibit structural priming as a learning behavior. Evidence that they employ a representation of syntax that can adapt itself to changes in input supports the structural priming as learning account and indicates that Mandarin L2ers can employ a native-like representation of syntax in grammatical processing.

Parallel abstracts


成人二語使用者是否能夠使用如母語般的句法表徵進行語句處理,一直是學界長久以來辯論的議題。本研究運用漢語中主動賓句與把字句的轉換來探究以漢語為第二語言的中高級程度成人學習者產生之句法啟動,藉以檢視他們進行語句產出時所運用的句法表徵。結果發現,這些中高級的學習者不僅能夠在理解語句之後產生句法啟動,他們也能夠因為輸入頻率提升之後,產生較強的句法啟動。而在輸入頻率提升的情況之下,當這些中高級程度的漢語學習者在處理頻率較低的把字句時,反而有較主動賓句更強的句法啟動現象,也就是所謂的逆頻率句法啟動。這些語句產出的結果一方面說明漢語中高級的成人外語學習者運用了與漢語母語人士相仿的句法表徵進行語句處理之外,另一方面也支持了句法啟動為語言使用者在學習語句歷程中所帶來的語句產出效果之理論。

References


Abbot-Smith, Kirsten,Lieven, Elena,Tomasello, Michael(2008).Graded representations in the acquisition of English and German transitive constructions.Cognitive Development.23,48-66.
Belikova, Alyona,White, Lydia(2009).Evidence for the Fundamental Difference Hypothesis or not? Island constraints revisited.Studies in Second Language Acquisition.31(2),1-24.
Bencini, Giulia M. L.,Valian, Virginia V.(2008).Abstract sentence representations in three-year-olds: Evidence from language production and comprehension.Journal of Memory and Language.59(1),97-113.
Bernolet, Sarah,Hartsuiker, Robert J.,Pickering, Martin J.(2007).Shared syntactic representations in bilinguals: evidence for the role of word-order repetition.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.33,931-949.
Bley-Vroman, Robert(1990).The logical problem of foreign language learning.Linguistic Analysis.20,3-49.

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