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PROCESSING OF ENGLISH DERIVED WORDS IN ADVANCED SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS: EFFECTS OF L1 TYPOLOGY, MORPHOLOGICAL AWARENESS, SUFFIX COMPLEXITY, AND L2 PROFICIENCY

Wu, Zhaohong (2017) PROCESSING OF ENGLISH DERIVED WORDS IN ADVANCED SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS: EFFECTS OF L1 TYPOLOGY, MORPHOLOGICAL AWARENESS, SUFFIX COMPLEXITY, AND L2 PROFICIENCY. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Previous studies of L2 morphological processing are controversial regarding whether L2 learners decompose morphologically complex words similarly to native speakers, and whether there are L1 influences in L2 morphological processing. The current study was the first to systematically examine (1) whether L2 English learners of typologically different L1s differ in their morphological awareness, and (2) whether effects of L1 typology, morphological awareness, suffix complexity, and L2 proficiency exist on L2 processing of derived words.
The current study examined on-line L2 morphological processing in a masked priming lexical decision task. Apart from a native English group, three L2 groups of typologically different L1s were recruited, including Turkish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. After the lexical decision task, participants were measured in terms of their morphological awareness, orthographic awareness, and English proficiency.
Results revealed differential priming patterns between the English group and the L2 groups and also among the L2 groups themselves. Although in the morphological condition (e.g., hunter-hunt) all groups demonstrated facilitation, the English group showed inhibition in both the opaque (e.g., corner-corn) and form (e.g., surface-surf) conditions, whereas the Chinese group showed facilitation in both conditions, the Vietnamese group showed a trend of facilitation in both conditions, and the Turkish group showed a trend of inhibition in both conditions. The on-line processing patterns matched the morphological awareness results in the relatedness task, in that the Turkish group marginally outperformed the English group, whereas the Chinese and Vietnamese groups did not differ significantly from the English group, suggesting clear L1 influence. For almost all groups, morphological awareness interacts with priming in the opaque and/or form conditions with regard to reaction time and/or accuracy. Moreover, the English and Turkish (but not Chinese or Vietnamese) groups were sensitive to a modulation of priming effects by suffix complexity, providing further evidence for L1 influence and an advantage for an L1 with complex morphology.
This study has both theoretical implications for the representation and processing of the bilingual lexicon by demonstrating clear L1 typological influences, and educational implications for how we could incorporate L1 differences into L2 instruction.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wu, Zhaohongzhw39@pitt.eduzhw39
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJuffs, Alanjuffs@pitt.edu
Committee MemberPerfetti, Charlesperfetti@pitt.edu
Committee MemberOrtega-Llebaria, Martamao61@pitt.edu
Committee MemberKanwit, Matthewmkanwit@pitt.edu
Date: 28 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 July 2017
Approval Date: 28 September 2017
Submission Date: 25 July 2017
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 335
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: second language learners; morphological processing; L1 typology; morphological awareness; suffix complexity; L2 proficiency
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2017 01:16
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2017 01:16
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/32876

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