The effects of L2 proficiency level on the processing of wh-questions among Dutch second language speakers of English

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Abstract

Using a self-paced reading task, the present study explores how Dutch-English L2 speakers parse English wh-subject-extractions and wh-object-extractions. Results suggest that English native speakers and highly-proficient DutchEnglish L2 speakers do not always exhibit measurable signs of on-line reanalysis when reading subject-versus object-extractions in English. However, less-proficient Dutch-English L2 speakers exhibit greater processing costs on subject-extractions relative to object-extractions, similar to previously reported findings (e.g., Dussias and Piar, Second Language Research 26: 443472, 2010; Juffs, Second Language Research 21: 121151, 2005; Juffs and Harrington, Studies in Second Language Acquisition 17: 482516, 1995). These findings are discussed in light of relevant research surrounding on-line processing among L2 speakers and their ability to adopt native-like processing patterns in the L2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-219
Number of pages25
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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