Can French-English bilinguals process verb-particle constructions in a native-like manner? A self-paced reading study / Alexandre Herbay

Réalisation : 20 juin 2017 Mise en ligne : 20 juin 2017
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Can French-English bilinguals process verb-particle constructions in a native-like manner? A self-paced reading study / Alexandre Herbay, in colloque "Bilingualism vs. monolingualism: a new perspective on limitations to L2 acquisition" organisé par la laboratoire Octogone-Lordat (Université Toulouse 2) sous la responsabilité de Barbara Köpke (UT2J), Holger Hopp (Technische Universität Braunschweig), Tanja Kupisch (Universität Konstanz), Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, 19-20 juin 2017.

A central question inbilingualism is whether bilinguals are able to process their second language(L2) similarly to native speakers. Here, we focus on verb-particleconstructions (VPC) that are among the most difficult elements to acquire in L2English. The verb and the particle form a unit, which often has anon-compositional meaning (e.g. look up or chew out). Moreover, the particlecan be shifted after the direct object of the verb (e.g. The professor willlook the student’s last name up.).  Bilinguals can develop good implicitknowledge of the semantic properties of verb-particle constructions, asdemonstrated in a masked priming task (Blais & Gonnerman, 2013). On theother hand, their explicit knowledge (assessed via similarity judgments) isoften not as good as that of native speakers (Blais & Gonnerman, 2013). Ofparticular interest is the semantic and syntactic processing of these verbconstructions in a sentence context. Therefore, we sought to determine whetheror not bilingual reading time (RT) patterns would be similar to those observedfor native monolinguals (Gonnerman & Hayes, 2005). Thirty earlyFrench-English bilinguals were recruited. Their English language proficiencyand their explicit VPC semantic knowledge were assessed. During a self-pacedreading task, participants read 78 sentences with verb-particle constructionsthat followed the design used in Gonnerman & Hayes (2005) and that variedaccording to parameters that influence native speakers reading dynamics:verb-particle transparency (low, medium, or long), particle adjacency (shiftedor adjacent), and length of the object noun phrase (NP; 2, 3, or 5 words). RTshave been analyzed for NPs and particles. Overall, bilinguals’ RTs clearlyreflected the particle position, with higher RTs for sentences with shiftedparticles. A transparency effect was observed on the NP, with higher RTs forless transparent VPCs than for more transparent ones, while no such effect wasfound for particles. NPs and particles were read faster in sentences with shortNPs than in other ones. The reading time effects and their interactions weremodulated strongly by participants’ English proficiency, with higherproficiency associated with shorter RTs. Examining participants’ explicitsemantic knowledge of VPCs, readers with more native-like knowledge of VPCs presentedRT patterns that looked more similar to those of monolinguals. Our behavioralresults are in line with bilingual processing of L2 that qualitativelyapproaches native-like online processing of structures that are absent in theL1, even if some quantitative differences remain.

Langue :
Claire SARAZIN (Réalisation), Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès-campus Mirail (Production), SCPAM / Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès-campus Mirail (Publication)
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Tous droits réservés aux auteurs et à l'Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès.
Citer cette ressource:
UT2J. (2017, 20 juin). Can French-English bilinguals process verb-particle constructions in a native-like manner? A self-paced reading study / Alexandre Herbay. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 23 mai 2022)

Blais, M.-J., & Gonnerman, L. M. (2013). Explicit and implicit semantic processing of verb–<br>particle constructions by French–English bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16(04), 829–846. [En ligne :].

Gonnerman Laura M., & Hayes, C. R. (2005). The professor chewed the students ... out: Effects of dependency, length, and adjacency on word order preferences in sentences with verb particle constructions. Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 21–23.

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