Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Listeners make predictions about upcoming sentence material during language processing. Monolingual English and monolingual German listeners can use contrastive pitch accents to predict upcoming referents (e.g. Ito & Speer, 2008; Weber, Braun, & Crocker, 2006). For example, when hearing Click on the blue book. Click on the RED… (where CAPS indicate a contrastive pitch accent), adults predict that the noun book will be repeated. This leads to facilitative processing if book is actually repeated and to a prosodic garden-path effect if another noun follows red. In contrast, adults are reliably less likely to make the same prediction when hearing Click on the blue book. Click on the red… (without a L+H* accent), suggesting that the prediction is driven by the prosody.
In this talk, I will present results from an eyetracking study that extends these previous findings from monolinguals to German-English bilinguals and that explores the role of recent exposure for predictive processing. The results suggest that bilinguals use the same prosodic cue differently in their L1 and their L2. Specifically, the bilinguals in the study show the same patterns of results in their L1 than monolingual native speakers: they engage in predictive processing in their L1 and this predictive processing is modulated by whether or not the speaker has previously used the prosodic cues consistently. In contrast, bilinguals do not initially engage in predictive processing in the L2 and are less sensitive to whether or not the speaker uses the prosodic cues consistently. I argue that the results are most compatible with a resource-deficit account of second language processing.
Dr. Anouschka Foltz (Bangor University)
Alexander Onysko (alexander.onysko [at] aau.at)