Bilingualism research group
Speaker: Yue Yu
Title: How do late L2 learners acquire L2 structures?
Abstract: An experiment was carried out on the basis of the following two questions 1) how do second language learners develop language syntactic representation? and 2) does syntactic information learning is based on error-based implicit learning? The backgrounds were related to second language learning trajectory (Hartsuiker and Bernolet, 2017) and the error-based implicit learning mechanism (Chang et al., 2006). These two accounts predict distinct influences of L2 proficiency on the structural priming effect. Under error-based implicit learning only, the previous exposure to priming structures would increase the cumulative priming effect and the rate of productions on the infrequent structures. This experiment included L1-L2 same verbs, L1-L2 different verbs, L2-L2 same verbs and L2-L2 different verbs conditions respectively. Participants with intermediate to advanced L2 proficiency described transitive events in two picture description tasks in two identical sessions one week apart. The result was not consistent with either the second language learning trajectory nor the error-based learning mechanism in terms of the influence of proficiency. Results shows that the cumulative priming effect occurred only within sessions when prime-target pictures presented different verbs. Nevertheless, cumulative effect did not generate an effect on the less frequent passive structure after the first priming task.