Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/288926
Title:
Broken agreement in L2 processing of Spanish
Author:
Teller, Matthew Buchanan, 1964-
Issue Date:
1998
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In natural language processing subject-verb agreement sometimes derails yielding ungrammatical sentences such as *The cost of the programs have not yet been estimated. In light of questions concerning the semantic versus syntactic nature of sentence subjects and the interactivity of language processing, researchers have investigated the occurrence and possible causes of erroneous agreement. In complex subject noun phrases such as The cost of the programs, the plurality of the noun in the lower clause has been shown to significantly affect the frequency of subject-verb agreement errors. This effect has been shown in English (Bock and Miller, 1991) and in Italian and Spanish (Vigliocco et al., 1995 and 1996). More importantly, a cross-linguistic difference appears with respect to distributivity, the semantic notion of plurality represented in a singular complex subject noun phrase. The phrase The label on the bottles can have a multiple token interpretation where several instances of the same label are conceptualized. Native (L1) English speakers show no effect for distributivity in light of subject-verb agreement errors, whereas L1 speakers of Italian and Spanish do. The primary question addressed in the current study is the following: Do the subject-verb agreement errors of non-native (L2) speakers of Spanish pattern in the same way as those of L1 speakers of Spanish, particularly with respect to distributivity? The results of the current study indicate that at least some L2 speakers of Spanish are sensitive to the effects of distributivity when processing subject-verb agreement. It is argued that the observed cross-linguistic variation with respect to the effect of distributivity on subject-verb agreement is attributable to differences in processing load resulting from cross-linguistic configurational variation within the subject noun phrase.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Education, Language and Literature.; Language, Linguistics.; Language, Modern.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Montalbetti, Mario; Nicol, Janet

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleBroken agreement in L2 processing of Spanishen_US
dc.creatorTeller, Matthew Buchanan, 1964-en_US
dc.contributor.authorTeller, Matthew Buchanan, 1964-en_US
dc.date.issued1998en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn natural language processing subject-verb agreement sometimes derails yielding ungrammatical sentences such as *The cost of the programs have not yet been estimated. In light of questions concerning the semantic versus syntactic nature of sentence subjects and the interactivity of language processing, researchers have investigated the occurrence and possible causes of erroneous agreement. In complex subject noun phrases such as The cost of the programs, the plurality of the noun in the lower clause has been shown to significantly affect the frequency of subject-verb agreement errors. This effect has been shown in English (Bock and Miller, 1991) and in Italian and Spanish (Vigliocco et al., 1995 and 1996). More importantly, a cross-linguistic difference appears with respect to distributivity, the semantic notion of plurality represented in a singular complex subject noun phrase. The phrase The label on the bottles can have a multiple token interpretation where several instances of the same label are conceptualized. Native (L1) English speakers show no effect for distributivity in light of subject-verb agreement errors, whereas L1 speakers of Italian and Spanish do. The primary question addressed in the current study is the following: Do the subject-verb agreement errors of non-native (L2) speakers of Spanish pattern in the same way as those of L1 speakers of Spanish, particularly with respect to distributivity? The results of the current study indicate that at least some L2 speakers of Spanish are sensitive to the effects of distributivity when processing subject-verb agreement. It is argued that the observed cross-linguistic variation with respect to the effect of distributivity on subject-verb agreement is attributable to differences in processing load resulting from cross-linguistic configurational variation within the subject noun phrase.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Language and Literature.en_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Linguistics.en_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Modern.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition and Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMontalbetti, Marioen_US
dc.contributor.advisorNicol, Janeten_US
dc.identifier.proquest9912160en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b39125178en_US
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