Alison Wechsler (Linguistics '11) Comps

March 7, 2011
Alison Wechsler (Linguistics, '11) will present her comps research on Wednesday, 9 March, at 3:30p in LDC 104. ***** Morphological Decomposition in a Second Language: An Experimental Study of Spanish Participles Alison Wechsler Spanish participles offer a distinction between regular forms with an agreement marker for person and number and irregular forms that usually have these same agreement markers, but that always undergo stem changes, and may change their form entirely. This paper reports the results from a lexical decision task that investigates regular and irregular past tense verb forms in adult native speakers of Spanish in comparison to advanced adult second language (L2) learners of Spanish with English as their first language (L1). The most striking L1-L2 contrasts were found for regular participles. Although the L1 group’s performance was influenced by the combinatorial structure of regular participle forms, this was not the case for the L2 group. These findings suggest that adult L2 learners are less sensitive to morphological structure than native speakers and rely more on lexical storage than on morphological parsing during processing. ***** A reception immediately follows this talk. All are invited to attend.