The application of syntactic parsing strategies during real-time L2 sentence comprehension: Evidence from eye-movement recordings

Uludağ O.

Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, vol.16, no.3, pp.1203-1218, 2020 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies
  • Page Numbers: pp.1203-1218


The study aims to investigate whether second language learners perform sentence processing based on syntactic or structure-based parsing strategies during real-time comprehension of constructions with syntactic ambiguities. To this end, the recordings of eye movements from Turkish learners of English and native English speakers as a control group are examined on temporarily ambiguous constructions including relative clause attachment ambiguities. The results indicate that processing decisions in first and second language are systematically driven by structure-based parsing strategies rather than being made randomly with an overreliance on semantic, pragmatic or other types of nonstructural information sources. These findings suggest that L2 learners are indeed capable of constructing and depending on abstract, hierarchically deep and detailed syntactic representations similar to those of native English speakers during the processing of sentences in real time.