Access to verb bias and plausibility information during syntactic processing in adult Spanish-English bilinguals

Patricia Román, Edith Kaan, Paola E. Dussias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In two experiments, we examine how proficient second language speakers integrate verb bias and plausibility information during online sentence comprehension. Spanish-English speakers and native English speakers read sentences in English in which a post-verbal noun phrase (NP) could be interpreted as a direct object or a sentential subject. To examine the role of verb bias, the post-verbal NP was preceded by a verb that is preferentially followed by a direct object (DO-bias verbs) or a sentential complement (SC-bias verbs). To assess the role of plausibility, the semantic fit between the verb and the post-verbal NP was either congruent or incongruent with the direct object interpretation. The results show that both second language speakers and native speakers used verb bias information to assign a grammatical role to the post-verbal ambiguous NP with small differences. Syntactic revision of an initially incorrect DO interpretation was facilitated by the presence of an implausible NP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-429
Number of pages13
JournalBilingualism
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 9 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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