Filiz Rızaoğlu (Pamukkale University) – Morphological Processing in Late L2 Learners
February 26, 2021
9:00 am
ZOOM Virtual Room (Link will be provided)

Filiz Rızaoğlu (Pamukkale University) – Morphological Processing in Late L2 Learners

Morphological Processing in Late L2 Learners

The issue of variability in processing morphologically complex words has been investigated in relation to the specific processing patterns second language (L2) users adopt. While several studies report lack of sensitivity to morphological structure in late L2 learners (Bowden et al., 2010; Neubauer & Clahsen, 2009; Silva & Clahsen 2008), some reveal similar processing patterns in native and non-native speakers despite overall slower reaction times (RTs) in L2 participants (Basnight-Brown et al., 2007; Coughlin &Tremblay, 2015; Diependaele et al., 2011; Feldman et al., 2010; Foote 2017). In the present study, proficient L2 speakers’ processing of English past tense morphology was investigated to understand whether their processing patterns were comparable with that of native speakers of English. In a masked priming task, the RTs for regular and irregular verbs were measured. The study also sought to explore whether working memory (WM) has any relationship with L2 morphological processing. Comparable processing patterns in native and nonnative groups obtained in the present study do not support earlier views that late L2 learners are less sensitive to the morphological structure of the target language compared to native speakers. Despite the lack of qualitative differences in processing, quantitative differences were found in the form of slower RTs in the L2 English group. While no correlation was found between the morphological processing patterns and WM in either participant group, a negative relationship was found between the WM scores and the speed of word recognition in the L2 group.