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Rapid Access of Verb Specific Information During Monolingual and Bilingual Sentence Processing Álvaro Villegas, Paola E. Dussias The Pennsylvania State.

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Presentation on theme: "Rapid Access of Verb Specific Information During Monolingual and Bilingual Sentence Processing Álvaro Villegas, Paola E. Dussias The Pennsylvania State."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rapid Access of Verb Specific Information During Monolingual and Bilingual Sentence Processing Álvaro Villegas, Paola E. Dussias The Pennsylvania State University Josep Demestre, Rosa Sánchez-Casas University Rovira i Virgili UIC Bilingualism Forum October 4-5, 2012

2 Outline The subjunctive in Spanish: ‘the tool’ – Mood loss – Acquisition difficulties Research questions Pilot Study: Moving-window Study Dissertation UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 20122

3 Mood in Spanish Spanish: Indicative, Subjunctive, and Imperative Marked morphologically: – Indicative: comieron (they ate) – Subjunctive: comieran (they ate) They are dependent on syntactic, lexical, and pragmatical features: Busco un libro que sea/es rojo I am looking for a red book (Cameron, 2011; Palmer, 1986; Montrul, 2007) UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 20123

4 Motivation for the study Two issues of interest about the subjunctive: 1. Mood loss in contact situations. 2. L2 Acquisition difficulty. UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 20124

5 Motivation for the study Two issues of interest about the subjunctive: 1. Mood loss in contact situations. 2. Acquisition difficulty. UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 20125

6 Corpus studies suggest that the subjunctive mood is being lost in two ways: (Biber et al, 2006; Murphy, 2008) – Morphologically: – Syntactically: e.g., epistemic adverbs (King, et al., 2008) [+Subj] [-Subj] tal vez quizásquizá posiblemente probablemente Perhaps maybemaybe possibly probably subjunctiveindicative [comieran][comieron] indicative [comieron] Mood Loss UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 20126

7 Languages in contact Studies have suggested that one of the possible reasons for this mood loss is contact situations: Spanish-Basque (Silva-Corvalán, 1982) Spanish-English (Silva-Corvalán, 1994) More interestingly, processing studies have shown that extensive immersion in the L2 environment can have consequences in the processing of the L1. Spanish-English (Dussias, 2004; Dussias & Sagarra, 2007) UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 20127

8 Our first question Can immersion be a factor boosting the loss of the Spanish subjunctive mood in an environment where the L2 (English) lacks the same grammatical feature? UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 20128

9 Motivation for the study Two issues of interest about the subjunctive: 1. Mood loss in contact situations. 2. Acquisition difficulty. UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 20129

10 Acquisition The acquisition of the subjunctive mood occurs late for monolingual children: – forms (2;3 years); semantics (5 years); adult-like (12 years). This process manifests the difficulty of acquisition of subjunctive. (Blake, 1983; Hernández-Pina, 1984; Pérez-Leroux, 2001) UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

11 L2 learners For L2 Spanish learners, subjunctive is also a very difficult structure to produce. (Collentine, 1995, 1998, 2010) But dependent on proficiency levels. (Borgonovo et al., 2005) Intermediate: correct subjunctive selection is low. Advanced: they start to select more subjunctive forms correctly. However, little is known about their ability to process this grammatical feature, specially when it is not present in their L2 (English) (Collentine, 2010) UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

12 Our second question Can highly proficient L1 English - L2 Spanish speakers process subjunctive structures as native Spanish speakers in an online task when the L2 feature is not instantiated in their L1? UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

13 Our questions Can immersion be a factor boosting the loss of the subjunctive mood in an environment where the L2 (English) lacks the same grammatical feature? Can high proficient L1 English - L2 Spanish speakers process subjunctive structures as native Spanish speakers in an online task when the L2 feature is not instantiated in their L1? UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

14 Materials A group of verbs in Spanish always select the subjunctive in a sentence complement clause (e.g., permitir ‘permit’). (Silva-Corvalán, 2001) La madre permitió al chico que comiera helado. The mother permitted the kid to eat ice cream. Correct use of the subjunctive: M=97.28% UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

15 Materials La fundación les permitió a los científicos que organizaron el simposio de física que publicaran una obra en memoria del fallecido. La fundación les permitió a los científicos que organizaran el simposio de física y que publicaran una obra en memoria del fallecido. MC RC SC MC SC Indicative Condition Subjunctive Condition The foundation permitted the scientists who organized the Physics Symposium to publish a work in memory of the deceased. The foundation permitted the scientists to organize the Physics Symposium and to publish a work in memory of the deceased. 15

16 Methodology Self-paced reading task + comprehension Q. ELPERROCOMEHUESOUN_ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ __ ¿EL PERRO COME PIZZA? UIC BilForum, October 4-5, THEDOGEATS BONEA _ _ _ __ _ _ IS THE DOG EATING PIZZA?

17 Predictions If participants can access the lexical information of the main verb (permitió ‘he/she permitted’), we would expect longer Reading Times (RTs) in the indicative condition than in the subjunctive condition when reading the verb of the first subordinate clause (organizaron/organizaran ‘they organized’) If they do not access the information, no differences will be observed. UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

18 Predictions Graphically: La fundación les permitió a los científicos que organizaron/ran el simposio de física (y) que publicaran una obra en memoria del fallecido. (V2): Indicative > Subjunctive UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

19 Participants Three group of Participants: -Control: 27 Spanish monolinguals in Granada, Spain -Q1: 27 Spanish-English at Penn State, US - Years of immersion: (M=6.4; SD=3.94) -Q2: 27 English-Spanish at Penn State, US UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

20 Results Spanish Monolinguals La fundación/les permitió/a los científicos/ simposio /de física/ (y) /que/publicaran/una obra/en memoria / del fallecido. * 20 Region 5: F(1,26)=.50 p=.484 Region 6: F(1,26)=14.60, p<.01 * RT (ms)

21 Results L1 Spanish – L2 English group * La fundación/les permitió/a los científicos/ simposio /de física/ (y) /que/publicaran/una obra/en memoria / del fallecido. 21 RT (ms) Region 5: F(1,26)=.12, p=.736 Region 6: F(1,26)=4.60, p<.05 *

22 Similar reading patterns * * Spanish Monolinguals L1 Spanish – L2 English 22UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 2012

23 Differences between L1 Spanish groups WORD 6: Repeated Measures ANOVA to observe interaction groups and conditions NO INTERACTION BETWEEN GROUPS: F (1, 52) = 1.669, p =.202 UIC BilForum, October 4-5, RT (ms)

24 Results L1 English – L2 Spanish group Region 5: F(1,26)=.93, p=.342 Region 6: F(1,26)=1.28, p=.267 La fundación/les permitió/a los científicos/ simposio /de física/ (y) /que/publicaran/una obra/en memoria / del fallecido. 24 Region 5: F(1,26)=.93, p=.342 Region 6: F(1,26)=1.28, p=.267 RT (ms)

25 By proficiency We looked into more proficient participants in three measures: DELE: Spanish proficiency test Picture Naming Norming Study: Sentence completion (16 / 48) Papers on proficiency have considered cuts for DELE up to a 85%. (Rossi, Diaz, Kroll, Dussias, under review) We applied the same cut: 5 participants considered. 25UIC BilForum, October 4-5, 2012

26 85% L1 English – L2 Spanish * La fundación/les permitió/a los científicos/ simposio /de física/ (y) /que/publicaran/una obra/en memoria / del fallecido. 26 RT (ms) * Region 5: F(1,4)=1.75, p=.256 Region 6: F(1,4)=12.45, p=.024

27 Discussion Results show that monolingual and Spanish-English speakers can use their knowledge of Spanish verb mood to predict upcoming use of the Subjunctive. Spanish-English speakers immersed in their L2 behave similarly to the monolingual group. This suggests that, although Subjunctive mood is a fragile grammatical feature in Spanish, it is still a strong feature that resists being lost. We argue that the lack of the same grammatical feature in the L2 environment does not necessarily affect processing of weak structures. UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

28 Discussion The L1 English–L2 Spanish group not able to use their knowledge of subjunctive to make the predictions of a upcoming clause. They don’t show same processing as native Spanish speakers. However, the analysis of only 5 people suggests that only very high proficient (native-like) English-Spanish speakers can use their knowledge in verb mood processing. Further research needs to confirm this tendency. UIC BilForum, October 4-5,

29 U. Rovira I Virgili: Josep Demestre Rosa Sánchez Casas José García-Albea U. of Granada: Teresa Bajo Center for Language Science at PSU Research Assistants: Nicole Roth Natalie Suders Michelle Haack Lucy Subler Chad Pickett Jason Gullifer Jorge Valdés Kroff Thank you!

30 Rapid Access of Verb Specific Information During Monolingual and Bilingual Sentence Processing Álvaro Villegas, Paola E. Dussias The Pennsylvania State University Josep Demestre, Rosa Sánchez-Casas University Rovira i Virgili UIC Bilingualism Forum October 4-5, 2012


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