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1.  The effect of phonological realization of inflectional morphology on verbal agreement in French 
Acta psychologica  2008;128(3):528-536.
The present study examined the impact of the phonological realization of morphosyntactic agreement within the inflectional phrase (IP) in written French, as revealed by ERPs. In two independent experiments, we varied the presence vs. absence of phonological cues to morphological variation. Of interest was whether a graded ERP response to these different conditions could be found in native speakers (Experiment 1), and whether non-native learners would benefit from the presence of phonological cues (Experiment 2). The results for native French speakers showed that compared to grammatically correct instances, phonologically realized inflectional errors produced a significant P600 response, which was statistically larger than that produced by errors that were silent. German L1 French L2 learners showed similar benefits of the phonological realization of morphemes. Phonologically realized errors produced a robust P600 response whereas silent errors produced no robust effects. Implications of these results are discussed in reference to previous studies of L2 acquisition of morphosyntax.
doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2007.12.007
PMCID: PMC4370771  PMID: 18255043
2.  ERPs reveal comparable syntactic sentence processing in native and non-native readers of English 
Acta psychologica  2007;128(3):514-527.
L2 syntactic processing has been primarily investigated in the context of syntactic anomaly detection, but only sparsely with syntactic ambiguity. In the field of event-related potentials (ERPs) syntactic anomaly detection and syntactic ambiguity resolution is linked to the P600. The current ERP experiment examined L2 syntactic processing in highly proficient L1 Spanish-L2 English readers who had acquired English informally around the age of 5 years. Temporary syntactic ambiguity (induced by verb subcategorization information) was tested as a language-specific phenomenon of L2, while syntactic anomaly resulted from phrase structure constraints that are similar in L1 and L2. Participants judged whether a sentence was syntactically acceptable or not. Native readers of English showed a P600 in the temporary syntactically ambiguous and syntactically anomalous sentences. A comparable picture emerged in the non-native readers of English. Both critical syntactic conditions elicited a P600, however, the distribution and latency of the P600 varied in the syntactic anomaly condition. The results clearly show that early acquisition of L2 syntactic knowledge leads to comparable online sensitivity towards temporal syntactic ambiguity and syntactic anomaly in early and highly proficient non-native readers of English and native readers of English.
doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2007.10.003
PMCID: PMC2711869  PMID: 18061129
ERPs; P600; L2 syntactic processing; Syntactic ambiguity; Syntactic anomaly

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