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Title:The Effect of Pronoun Type on First and Second Language Perceptual Strategies in Hindi (India, Psycholinguistics, Acquisition, Processing, Reading)
Author(s):Lutz, Richard David
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:This research investigated the distributional patterns of full and zero pronouns in written Hindi discourse, and the processing strategies employed by L1 and L2 Hindi speakers in assigning anaphoric reference.
Results of two experiments were reported. The first assessed the preferences of 200 literate L1 Hindi speakers asked to read paragraphs from which all pronouns had been removed, and supply the appropriate full pronoun forms where necessary. Paragraphs were written to control for verbal agreement clues, sentence topic and dative subjects, as well as for length between the pronoun and antecedent. Significant effects were found for sentence topic and dative subject, as well as for distance, but not for verbal agreement.
The second experiment compared the effect of full and zero pronoun type on anaphoric assignment by L1 and L2 Hindi speakers. Subjects consisted of 176 secondary school L2 Hindi students with a variety of Indo-European and Dravidian L1 backgrounds, and a control group of 84 L1 Hindi speakers. The task consisted of answering questions designed to elicit a choice of antecedents for full versus zero pronouns in 78 paragraphs. The paragraphs tested the effect of sentence topic, verbal agreement clues, dative subject constructions, honorific referents, and parallel function (Sheldon 1974). Results indicated that L1 Hindi speakers relied on morphological and pragmatic information when available, and called upon sentence topic information when other clues were insufficient or absent. In contrast, L2 learners from all L1 backgrounds relied heavily upon verbal agreement and sentence-level structural clues, but pragmatic and sentence-topic information was used only by subjects with a high level of proficiency in the L2. Based on these results, a hierarchy of perceptual strategies for L2 learners is proposed in which morphological information is processed at early levels of proficiency, followed by pragmatic (contextual) information, while discourse-level strategies are acquired at high proficiency levels, if at all.
Issue Date:1985
Description:326 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600258
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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