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G&C Colloquium: Kars Ligtenberg (Lecture and debate)

Thursday 8 June 2023Add to my calendar
10:30 to
Kars Ligtenberg
Does access to supporting linguistic systems improve garden-path processing?

Does access to supporting linguistic systems improve garden-path processing

Eye-tracking reading experiments on bilinguals often find divergent results: some report disadvantages for bilinguals as compared to monolinguals, with language proficiency scores and individual differences in cognitive control ability largely accounting for these differences (e.g., Brothers et al., 2021). Others report a bilingual advantage in cognitive control which also affected syntactic parsing beneficially with bilinguals scoring higher on comprehension whilst processing garden-path sentences (e.g., Teubner-Rhodes et al., 2016). However, bilingualism itself is often poorly defined, which can lead to unfair comparisons between, potentially, extremely different types of bilinguals. In an attempt to bridge this gap, I conducted an eye-tracking experiment with a strictly defined group of Dutch-English bilinguals as compared to English native speakers. The study employed complex garden-path sentences constructed to facilitate language interaction between Dutch and English, in hopes of uncovering a specific mechanism to explain processing differences beyond simply ‘bilingualism’. This talk will cover the details and outcomes of the eye-tracking study, as well as pitch the currently work-in-progress idea for a post-hoc study with a self-paced reading paradigm for which pointers and discussion are welcome.

Imke Wets and/or Michelle Suijkerbuijk