Part II. Relative clauses and <i>wh</i>-movement

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Monolingual Turkish speakers, highly proficient Turkish speakers of English as a second language (L2), and native English speakers participated in online self-paced reading tasks and offline pen-and-paper questionnaires testing the processing of relative clause (RC) attachment ambiguities. Experimental stimuli in the online task consisted of temporarily and globally ambiguous sentences. Temporarily ambiguous sentences were disambiguated using animacy information carried by the NPs in the complex genitive NP. The offline task consisted of globally ambiguous sentences. The results of the online and offline tasks showed that both first language (L1) groups preferred to attach the RC to the low noun phrase (NP), both with animate and inanimate antecedents. Results for the L2 group, however, differed in the online and offline tasks. In the online task, they preferred to attach the RC high with animate antecedents, but showed a tendency to attach it low with inanimate antecedents. In the offline task, on the other hand, they showed a high attachment preference throughout. Results are discussed in relation to the Shallow Structure Hypothesis of Clahsen and Felser (Clahsen &amp; Felser, 2006a, 2006b, 2006c).


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