Implicit causality as a predictive cue in child L1 and adult L2 processing of German: Evidence from visual-world eyetracking / Judith Schlenter

Réalisation : 20 juin 2017 Mise en ligne : 20 juin 2017
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Implicit causality as a predictive cue in child L1 and adult L2 processing of German: Evidence from visual-world eyetracking / Judith Schlenter, in colloque "Bilingualism vs. monolingualism: a new perspective on limitations to L2 acquisition" organisé par le 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.

Researchon language processing can contribute to a better understanding of language learning and its underlying mechanisms. One area of special interestis predictive processing, which can help learnersto test hypotheses about the target language(Philipps & Ehrenhofer, 2015). Using the same experimental design,Lew-Williams and Fernald(2007, 2010) and Grüter et al. (2012) found that both Spanish-learning children (aged 2-3 years) and adults were able to use a gender-marked determiner to orient their gaze towards a target picture, whereas evenhighly proficient adult learners ofSpanish were not. Few sentence processing studies have compared child and adultlanguage learners' prediction abilities directly, however. Ina visual-world eye-tracking study, we investigated whether and how L1 German-speaking children (aged 9-13 years) and adults and native Russian-speaking,proficient adult L2 learners of German use implicit causality (IC) informationas a predictive cue. IC is a semantic bias that is known to affect people’sdiscourse interpretations in several languages (e.g. Hartshorne et al., 2013, 2015).A verb like frighten, for example, favoursNP1 as the causer of anevent and as the referent of a subsequent pronoun, whereas a verb like fear favours NP2. We presentedparticipants with spoken German sentences that either included an NP1-biasing (a) or NP2-biasing psych verb (b) followed by a causal connective and anambiguous pronoun, while looking ata visual scene. The predictive use of IC information should be reflected inmore looks to the NP1 referent for NP1-biasing than for NP2-biasing verbs evenbefore disambiguating information (e.g. einMesser... ‘a knife...’) is encountered.

(a) Der Indianer ängstigtden Cowboy am Lagerfeuer, [weil er zufällig]criticalwindow einMesser hervorholt.

(b) Der Indianer fürchtetden Cowboy am Lagerfeuer, [weil er zufällig]criticalwindow einGewehr hervorholt.

'The Native American frightens/fears the cowboy at thecampfire because he is accidentally fetching a knife/gun.'

Resultsfrom our statistical analyses show evidence of predictive use of IC information in both the child and adultL1 groups. For the L2 speakers,however, IC information only became effective over time. Unlike our nativespeakers, the L2 group showed a first- mention/subject preference that seemedto be ‘boosted’ when additionally supported by IC information. Our results thus indicate differences between L1 and L2 speakers' ability to use ICinformation as a predictive cue and moreover suggest that differentinterpretation-relevant constraints are differently weighted in L1 vs. L2processing.

Langue :
Claire SARAZIN (Réalisation), Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès-campus Mirail (Production), SCPAM / Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès-campus Mirail (Publication)
Conditions d'utilisation
Tous droits réservés aux auteurs et à l'Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès.
Citer cette ressource:
UT2J. (2017, 20 juin). Implicit causality as a predictive cue in child L1 and adult L2 processing of German: Evidence from visual-world eyetracking / Judith Schlenter. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 27 mai 2022)

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