Parsing to Learn
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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The study tests representational and computational accounts of morphological variability in English-speaking learners of Spanish by examining performance on gender and number agreement under different task demands. Second language (L2) learners took either a Speeded grammaticality judgment task (GJT) or an Untimed GJT. The tasks targeted agreement violations of two types: errors in the use of ‘default’ morphology and errors involving ‘feature clashes’ (McCarthy, 2008). In addition, three groups of native speakers took the Speeded GJT at three different presentation rates to examine whether native speakers under a processing burden perform similarly to learners. Natives in the fastest speed performed better with feature clash errors for both gender and number. Learners showed the same pattern for number, but performed better with default errors in gender, suggesting different effects of processing demands for properties unique to the L2. On the Untimed GJT, a subset of advanced learners showed perfect performance with both gender and number.


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