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Title:A Psycholinguistic Investigation of Agreement in Spanish and English Monolinguals and Bilinguals
Author(s):Foote, Rebecca K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Montrul, Silvina A.
Department / Program:Spanish
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:Three psycholinguistic experiments employed novel methodologies to answer these questions. Experiment 1 investigated agreement in monolingual speakers of English (n=18), Mexican Spanish (n=32), and Dominican Spanish (n=28), who were aurally presented with 32 complex noun phrases (16 with conceptually plural, grammatically singular head nouns, 16 with conceptually and grammatically singular head nouns) and 64 fillers, accompanied by pictures that encouraged the conceptually singular or plural reading of the phrases. Participants repeated and completed the phrases; responses were scored for agreement errors. Results indicate cross-linguistic differences not in the presence or absence of conceptual effects on agreement production, but rather the magnitude of those effects. Experiment 2 examined whether producing sentences with null subjects would increase conceptual effects on agreement in Mexican and Dominican Spanish (same participants as Experiment 1); results confirmed increased effects. Experiment 3 investigated agreement in 38 early and 70 late English-Spanish bilinguals (subdivided by proficiency) who completed the experiment in Spanish and English. Results indicate that bilinguals compute agreement the same way in both languages; they are sensitive to conceptual number regardless of age of acquisition or proficiency level. Implications for psycholinguistic models of agreement production, linguistic theory, and the role of proficiency and age of acquisition in outcomes of bilingualism are discussed.
Issue Date:2006
Description:194 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3250243
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2006

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