Non-native syntactic processing of Case and Agreement

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The present study investigates the neural basis of syntactic processing in native and non-native speakers of Turkish, focusing on factors such as second language (L2) proficiency and language distance. Participants’ event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a grammaticality judgment task consisting of subject case and subject-verb agreement violation sentences. The results indicate that while case violations (the divergent condition) reveal different ERP components in native and non-native speakers, agreement violations in finite clauses (the convergent condition) do not. Nevertheless, during the processing of agreement violations in non-finite clauses (the partial divergent condition) only high-intermediate L2 learners show native-like brain processing mechanisms. Findings suggest that L2 syntactic processing is affected by language distance as well as L2 proficiency.


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