Antecedent contained deletions in native and non-native sentence processing
We report the results from an eye-movement monitoring study investigating native (L1) and non-native (L2) speakers’ real-time processing of antecedent-contained deletion (ACD), a type of verb phrase ellipsis in which the ellipsis gap forms part of its own antecedent. The resulting interpretation problem is traditionally thought to be solved by quantifier raising, a covert scope-shifting operation that serves to remove the gap from within its antecedent. Our L2 group comprised advanced, native German-speaking L2 learners of English. The analysis of the eye-movement data showed that both L1 and L2 English speakers tried to recover the missing verb phrase after encountering the gap. Only the native speakers showed evidence of ellipsis resolution being affected by quantification, however. No effects of quantification following gap detection were found in the L2 group, by contrast, indicating that recovery of the elided material was accomplished independently from the object’s quantificational status in this group.
Keywords: L2 processing, eye-movement monitoring, antecedent contained deletion
Published online: 24 June 2016
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