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The development of abstract syntactic representations in beginning L2 learners of Dutch

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The developmental account of second language (L2) syntactic acquisition in late learners (Hartsuiker & Bernolet, 2017) predicts that learners start with item-specific syntactic representations, which become abstract over time. We investigated how the transition between item-specific and abstract syntactic representations takes place for transitive structures in a within-Dutch structural priming experiment. In a longitudinal and a cross-sectional design, we tested whether and when late learners show priming for active and passive sentences, and whether the learning of the passive structure can be sped up by means of a lexically-based structural priming intervention. Active priming took place before passive priming, although abstract representations of the passive may be formed quite rapidly after exposure, which seemed to be accelerated by the intervention. Our results suggest that a developmental account of L2 syntactic acquisition should be a hybrid model, incorporating aspects of the residual activation account as well as an implicit learning mechanism.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science
ISSN: 2520-1018
Volume: 7
Pagina's: 289 - 309
Jaar van publicatie:2023
Trefwoorden:A1 Journal article