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4 th International Symposium on Bilingualism Arizona State University April 30 th –May 03 rd. The comprehension of sentences in Spanish-English bilinguals. Paola E. Dussias Penn State University [email protected] 4 th International Symposium on Bilingualism Arizona State University

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The comprehension of sentences in Spanish-English bilinguals

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The comprehension of sentences in spanish english bilinguals l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

The comprehension of sentences in Spanish-English bilinguals

Paola E. Dussias

Penn State University

[email protected]

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Who was ill l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Who was ill?

The police arrested the brother of the baby-sitter who was ill.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


The police arrested the brother of the baby sitter who was ill l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

The police arrested the brother of the baby-sitter who was ill.

LOW

ATTACHMENT

baby sitter

who was ill

In English

In Spanish

who was ill

HIGH

ATTACHMENT

brother

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


What about spanish english bilinguals l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

What about Spanish-English bilinguals?

Use the correct strategy in each context

How do bilinguals resolve the competition that is created between parsing preferences in the L1 and in the L2?

Use high attachment for both

languages

Use low attachment forboth languages

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Research question l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Research Question

Prior research suggest that, provided sufficient proficiency, second language syntactic processing obeys the same principles as native language processing (Frenck-Mestre; 1997, 2002; Frenck-Mestre & Pynte, 1997; Hoover & Dwivedi, 1998; Juffs & Harrington, 1996)

How is syntactic processing affected by exposure to the second language?

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Participants l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Study 1– Relative clauseambiguity resolution

Participants

Twenty L1 Spanish-L2 English participants.

Learned English during adulthood.

Lived in an L2 environment for an average of 7 years.

88% of the subjects reading and listening in both languages equally high.

75% of the subjects speaking abilities in both languages equally high.

Used Spanish and English in their daily lives and in a variety of contexts; both formal and informal.

2. Thirty-six monolingual Spanish speakers.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Materials l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Materials

the brother

ill (masc)

1 (high attachment)

La policía arrestó al hermano de la mujer que estaba enfermo desde hacía tiempo.

[The police arrested the brother of the woman who had been ill (masc.) for a while].

2 (low attachment)

La policía arrestó a la hermana del hombre que estaba enfermo desde hacía tiempo.

[The police arrested the sister of the man who had been ill

for a while].

the man

ill (masc)

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Procedure l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Procedure

Eyelink II eyetracker interfaced with an IBM compatible computer.

Materials were displayed on a color monitor.

All sentences were displayed in a single line of text.

Sentences were followed by a comprehension questions to ensure that participants were executing the task appropriately.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Analysis l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Analysis

Gaze duration: the sum of all fixations on the disambiguating region (e.g., the adjective)

Total time: The sum of gaze duration + regressions on the critical region.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Results total reading times l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Results (total reading times)

*

*

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Why the low attachment preference l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Why the low-attachment preference?

Language Exposure account:

Exposure to a preponderance of English constructions resolved in favor of low attachment may have rendered this interpretation more available, ultimately resulting in the preference for low attachment observed in these results.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


A preliminary test of this hypothesis l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

A preliminary test of this hypothesis…

Test participants with fewer years of immersion in an English environment.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Slide13 l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Participant profile:

Twenty-eight L1 Spanish-L2 English participants.

Learned English during adulthood.

Lived in an L2 environment for an average of 8.5 months.

Used Spanish and English in their daily lives and in a variety of context, both formal and informal.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Bilinguals limited exposure total reading times l.jpg

Bilinguals—Limited exposure (total reading times)

*

*

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Bilinguals limited exposure total reading times15 l.jpg

Bilinguals—Limited exposure (total reading times)

*

*

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Summary of findings from study 1 l.jpg

4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

Arizona State University

April 30th –May 03rd

Summary of findings from Study 1

  • Spanish monolingual speakers and Spanish-English bilinguals with limited exposure in the L2 environment adopt a high attachment strategy

  • Spanish-English bilinguals with extensive exposure to the L2 adopt a low-attachment strategy

  • These findings highlight the role of L2 exposure in parsing.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Study 2 the role of word order l.jpg

Study 2– The role of word order

  • One grammatical property that has been found to affect sentence comprehension is word order.

  • The parser seems to find it easier to comprehend sentences in which the subject (S) precedes the object (O) than with the reverse O-S order (Bates, MacWhinney, McNew, Devescovi, & Smith, 1982; MacWhinney, Bates, & Kliegl, 1984; MacWhinney & Bates, 1989; Weyerts, Penke, Münte, Heinze, & Clahsen, 2002).

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


The construction under investigation l.jpg

The construction under investigation

Contestó el chico que quería estudiar derecho

[Verb Subject That-clause]

A. that-clause complement of verb

The boy answered that he wanted to study law

B. that-clause relative clause

The boy that wanted to study law answered

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Preferred interpretation of the ambiguity l.jpg

Preferred interpretation of the ambiguity

Monolingual Spanish speakers prefer the relative clause reading

Contestó el chico que quería estudiar derecho

The boy that wanted to study law answered

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Method l.jpg

Method

  • Participants

  • 54 Monolingual Spanish speakers

  • 15 proficient English-Spanish bilinguals

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Materials21 l.jpg

Materials

Experimental stimulus

Contestó el chico [que quería estudiar derecho] ambiguous region

[que sabía la respuesta] disambiguating region

Control

El chico que quería estudiar derechocontestó que sabía la respuesta

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Procedure22 l.jpg

Procedure

Reading moving window

Contestó _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Analysis23 l.jpg

Analysis

Reading times of que + the verb following it.

Contestó el chico [que quería estudiar derecho] ambiguous region

[que sabía la respuesta] disambiguating region

El chico que quería estudiar derecho contestó que sabía la respuesta

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Results l.jpg

Results

*

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Overall summary of findings l.jpg

Overall summary of findings

  • Both experiments show that bilinguals sometimes do not parse L2 input in a manner similar to that of speakers of the target language.

  • Variables such as L2 proficiency, exposure to the L2 environment and syntactic characteristics specific to the second language affect syntactic processing in the two languages of the bilingual.

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


Acknowledgements l.jpg

Acknowledgements

Tracy Cramer

Chip Gerfen

Judy Kroll

Maya Misra

Teresa Bajo

Manuel Carreiras & Charles Clifton Jr.

Language Science Research Group at Penn State

ISB5- March 20-23, 2005


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