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Languages, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2020) – 3 articles

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Open AccessArticle
How Input Processing Factors into Lexical Semantics: Motion Events with Double Particles in L3 German
Languages 2020, 5(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5030030 - 04 Aug 2020
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Abstract
Motion events are almost absent in the course syllabus of L2 German as a formally addressed structure in the classroom. Learners have merely receptive contact with this type of structure in reading texts or in aural activities. The occurrence of motion events with [...] Read more.
Motion events are almost absent in the course syllabus of L2 German as a formally addressed structure in the classroom. Learners have merely receptive contact with this type of structure in reading texts or in aural activities. The occurrence of motion events with the so-called “double particles” is even less frequent. These are composed of the deictic morphemes hin- and her- denoting the speaker’s perspective and Path morphemes (-ein-, -aus-, -auf-, etc.). The main goal of the present study is to test a group of Portuguese L3 learners of German regarding their knowledge of double particles, and to apply VanPatten’s Processing Instruction (PI) model (VanPatten 2004; VanPatten and Williams 2015), which rests on an input-based focus-on-form approach for teaching grammar. The theoretical framework is based on Talmy’s typology of motion events (Talmy 2000a, 2000b). The empirical component of this study was divided into three parts: first, I tested the participants by means of a pretest; then, I conducted a pedagogical intervention based on the PI model; finally, a posttest determined the successful effects of PI in the participants’ knowledge of the target forms, both in interpretative and productive contexts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Language Processing at Its Trickiest: Grammatical Illusions and Heuristics of Judgment
Languages 2020, 5(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5030029 - 21 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Humans are intuitively good at providing judgments about what forms part of their native language and what does not. Although such judgments are robust, consistent, and reliable, human cognition is demonstrably fallible to illusions of various types. Language is no exception. In the [...] Read more.
Humans are intuitively good at providing judgments about what forms part of their native language and what does not. Although such judgments are robust, consistent, and reliable, human cognition is demonstrably fallible to illusions of various types. Language is no exception. In the linguistic domain, several types of sentences have been shown to trick the parser into giving them a high acceptability judgment despite their ill-formedness. One example is the so-called comparative illusion (‘More people have been to Tromsø than I have’). To this day, comparative illusions have been tested mainly with monolingual, neurotypical speakers of English. The present research aims to broaden our understanding of this phenomenon by putting it to test in two populations that differ in one crucial factor: the number of languages they speak. A timed acceptability judgment task was administered to monolingual speakers of Standard Greek and bi(dia)lectal speakers of Standard and Cypriot Greek. The results are not fully in line with any of the semantic re-analyses proposed for the illusion so far, hence a new proposal is offered about what interpretation induces the illusion, appreciating the influence of both grammatical processing and cognitive heuristics. Second, the results reveal an effect of developmental trajectory. This effect may be linked to an enhanced ability to spot the illusion in bi(dia)lectals, but several factors can be identified as possible culprits behind this result. After discussing each of them, it is argued that having two grammars may facilitate the setting of a higher processing threshold, something that would entail decreased fallibility to grammatical illusions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pragmatic Uses of Negation in Chipileño Spanish (Mexico)
Languages 2020, 5(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5030028 - 13 Jul 2020
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Abstract
This paper discusses two negation types (standard negation (SN), negative doubling (ND)) in Chipileño Spanish, a variety that has emerged as a result of contact between Spanish and Veneto (an Italo-Romance language) in Mexico. In Veneto, negation can be formed in two ways: [...] Read more.
This paper discusses two negation types (standard negation (SN), negative doubling (ND)) in Chipileño Spanish, a variety that has emerged as a result of contact between Spanish and Veneto (an Italo-Romance language) in Mexico. In Veneto, negation can be formed in two ways: preverbally (SN) and as a negative doubling (ND). Based on sporadic observation, bilingual speakers of Spanish and Veneto transfer a final no while speaking Spanish, a language that does not allow repetition of the same negator in the postverbal position. Using both a spontaneous and a controlled tasks, the results show two possibilities: preverbal negation only (no vino ‘[S/he] did not come’) and sentence final (no me gusta no ‘I do not like’) in both tasks. This study compares the findings from Chipileño Spanish to the other Romance varieties that exhibit similar cases of negation, while discussing its scope and relevance to discourse-pragmatic factors. Full article
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