L2 Processing Advantages of Multiword Sequences: Evidence from Eye-Tracking

Elma Kerz, Arndt Heilmann, Stella Neumann


Abstract
A substantial body of research has demonstrated that native speakers are sensitive to the frequencies of multiword sequences (MWS). Here, we ask whether and to what extent intermediate-advanced L2 speakers of English can also develop the sensitivity to the statistics of MWS. To this end, we aimed to replicate the MWS frequency effects found for adult native language speakers based on evidence from self-paced reading and sentence recall tasks in an ecologically more valid eye-tracking study. L2 speakers’ sensitivity to MWS frequency was evaluated using generalized linear mixed-effects regression with separate models fitted for each of the four dependent measures. Mixed-effects modeling revealed significantly faster processing of sentences containing MWS compared to sentences containing equivalent control items across all eyetracking measures. Taken together, these findings suggest that, in line with emergentist approaches, MWS are important building blocks of language and that similar mechanisms underlie both native and non-native language processing.
Anthology ID:
W19-5108
Volume:
Proceedings of the Joint Workshop on Multiword Expressions and WordNet (MWE-WN 2019)
Month:
August
Year:
2019
Address:
Florence, Italy
Venue:
MWE
SIG:
SIGLEX
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
60–69
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-5108
DOI:
10.18653/v1/W19-5108
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Elma Kerz, Arndt Heilmann, and Stella Neumann. 2019. L2 Processing Advantages of Multiword Sequences: Evidence from Eye-Tracking. In Proceedings of the Joint Workshop on Multiword Expressions and WordNet (MWE-WN 2019), pages 60–69, Florence, Italy. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
L2 Processing Advantages of Multiword Sequences: Evidence from Eye-Tracking (Kerz et al., MWE 2019)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-5108.pdf