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THE TRANSFER OF OVERT PRONOUN CONSTRAINT IN L2 PROCESSING: AN ON-LINE EXPERIMENT WITH JAPANESE BILINGUAL SPEAKERS

Abstract

This paper explores the effects of transfer of L1 syntactic constraints during L2 sentence processing. Specifically, it was investigated whether Japanese bilingual speakers apply their L1 specific binding constraints while they process English pronoun sentences. The experimental group contained Japanese subjects who spoke fluent English, and the control group contained monolingual English subjects. Toe experiment consisted of a simple reading task that required an acceptability judgment. Sentences were visually presented on a computer screen and the subjects' task was to decide whether or not each sentence was well-formed. Time taken to press a response key was recorded. The results showed a strong carry-over of the Japanese overt pronoun constraint (e.g., Montalbetti 1984; Hoji 1989, 1990) from L1 to L2.

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Ikawa, H., (1995) “THE TRANSFER OF OVERT PRONOUN CONSTRAINT IN L2 PROCESSING: AN ON-LINE EXPERIMENT WITH JAPANESE BILINGUAL SPEAKERS”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 3, p.29-35.

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Hisako Ikawa (University of Arizona)

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