Taalverwerving in onderzoek
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Within a psycholinguistic approach to second language learning, an attempt is made to investigate the question of how morphology, syntax (word order phenomena), semantics and pragmatics affect the comprehension of Dutch sentences for normative learners of that language. When talking to nonnative language-learners, native spea-kers often tend to dehberately modify their speech -'simplify' it - in an attempt to make the target language more comprehensible. Omitting semantically redundant function words and copulas, or deliberate-ly modifying the word order in a sentence, are but a few characteris-tics of sucn 'simplifications'. In trying to determine whether, and what kinds of, linguistic simplifications promote comprehension, an important theoretical issue arises, namely, the relationship between linguistic (structural) and cognitive (ease of information processing) simplification. That one form of simplification is by no means a guarantee for the other form is an important assumption that forms the backbone to our approach.The results from research on morphological simplifications (omission of redundant function words in utterances) in two parallel experiments - an artificial and a natural language one (Dutch) - are discus-sed. They suggest that the presence of semantically redundant functi-on words is not experienced as bothersome "noise" in the successful inference of the meaning of unfamiliar utterances, as long as supra-segmental cues are present. The suprasegmental structure provides the listener/learner with cues for locating the potentially meaningful elements of such utterances.Research on syntactic simplifications is also discussed. Its aim was to examine the role and effect of syntactic and semantic cues on sen-tence interpretation. Two important questions were: (a) What are the processing strategies and cues responsible for the interpretation of Dutch sentences by native speakers, and how do they compare to those employed by nonnative speakers? (b) Are the processing stra-tegies and cues that are responsible and decisive for first language comprehension also those employed in second language comprehension? The performance of Dutch control subjects on a Dutch sentence interpretation task is presented, and hypotheses are put forward as to the locus and cause of eventual performance differences in a nonnative subject population (English learners of Dutch). Some relevant theoretical implications of our findings are also mentioned.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error