ERP signatures of subject-verb agreement in L2 learning

Lang Chen, Hua Shu, Youyi Liu, Jingjing Zhao, Ping Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    112 Scopus citations


    In this study we examined ERP (event-related-potential) responses in the morphosyntactic processing of subject-verb agreements by L2 Chinese learners of English. Fifteen proficient L2 learners and fifteen native English speakers were presented with English sentences that varied in the grammaticality of the sentence with respect to subject-verb agreement. Our results indicate that late L2 learners show distinct ERP responses from native speakers in the processing of syntactic features that are absent in their L1, even when their behavioral patterns are similar to those of native speakers. The results are taken to support the proposal that language-specific experiences with L1 shape the neural structure of processing in L2.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)161-174
    Number of pages14
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jul 2007

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Education
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language


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