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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Room 7, Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Event date: 
Friday, 9 November, 2018 - 16:00 to 18:00

Clahsen and Felser (2006) proposed the 'Shallow Structure Hypothesis' (SSH), which suggests that the representations which adult L2 learners (even at the advanced level) compute during grammatical processing contain less syntactic detail than those parsed by the native speakers. This study tests the SSH among different bilingual contexts -- L1 Chinese attritors, L2 Chinese learners and Chinese heritage speakers -- through a self-paced reading task using two types of reflexive dependency structures. The processing of these structures, with the mediation of gender congruence between the potential antecedents and the reflexive, is a demanding task for the processors' linguistic as well as cognitive resources. The mixed results across different bilingual contexts and different reflexive dependency structures call for a more fine-grained explanation according to the specific conditions instead of a dichotomy of native vs. non-native speakers.

Professor Boping Yuan: