Linguistics Colloquium: Anat Prior

10/12/2019 - 14:00 - 15:30

Anat Prior, University of Haifa
(joint research with Nawras Abbas & Tamar Degani)

Title: Cross Language Influences in L3 Syntactic Processing
 Abstract: Learners acquiring the syntax of a third language (L3) might be influenced by existing knowledge from their first (L1) and/or second (L2) languages. Indeed, models of L3 acquisition differ in identifying the source of cross-linguistic influence, and various transfer patterns have been reported. In this talk I will present the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of current models of transfer in L3 processing, and will critically discuss some of the challenges and confounds of the extant literature. Finally, I will present a current study that investigated Arabic-Hebrew-English university student trilinguals. Participants read English sentences that overlapped syntactically with one, both or neither of their previous languages, while their eye movements were recorded and then performed grammaticality judgements on each sentence. Online reading times and off-line performance are analyzed in order to address the central question of whether L1 or L2 can be identified as a dominant source of cross-linguistic influence, or whether the entire linguistic repertoire is activated when processing L3.

Keywords: Syntax, Multilingualism, cross-linguistic influence, eye-tracking

Place: Building 403 room 2
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