Arndt Heilmann


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L2 Processing Advantages of Multiword Sequences: Evidence from Eye-Tracking
Elma Kerz | Arndt Heilmann | Stella Neumann
Proceedings of the Joint Workshop on Multiword Expressions and WordNet (MWE-WN 2019)

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.


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Dynamic pause assessment of keystroke logged data for the detection of complexity in translation and monolingual text production
Arndt Heilmann | Stella Neumann
Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Linguistic Complexity (CL4LC)

Pause analysis of key-stroke logged translations is a hallmark of process based translation studies. However, an exact definition of what a cognitively effortful pause during the translation process is has not been found yet (Saldanha and O’Brien, 2013). This paper investigates the design of a key-stroke and subject dependent identification system of cognitive effort to track complexity in translation with keystroke logging (cf. also (Dragsted, 2005) (Couto-Vale, in preparation)). It is an elastic measure that takes into account idiosyncratic pause duration of translators as well as further confounds such as bi-gram frequency, letter frequency and some motor tasks involved in writing. The method is compared to a common static threshold of 1000 ms in an analysis of cognitive effort during the translation of grammatical functions from English to German. Additionally, the results are triangulated with eye tracking data for further validation. The findings show that at least for smaller sets of data a dynamic pause assessment may lead to more accurate results than a generic static pause threshold of similar duration.