Using eye-tracking to study the on-line processing of case-marking information among intermediate L2 learners of German

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Abstract

This study uses eye-tracking to examine the processing of case-marking information in ambiguous subject- and object-first wh-questions in German. The position of the lexical verb was also manipulated via verb tense to investigate whether verb location influences how intermediate L2 learners process L2 sentences. Results show that intermediate L2 German learners were sensitive to case-marking information, exhibiting longer processing times on subject-first than object-first sentences, regardless of verb location.German native speakers exhibited the opposite word order preference, with longer processing times on object-first than subject-first sentences, replicating previous findings. These results are discussed in light of current L2 processing research, highlighting how methodological constraints influence researchers' abilities to measure the online processing of morphosyntactic information among intermediate L2 learners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-133
Number of pages33
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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