The effect of semantic illusions on L1 and L2 sentence processing: Did Moses speak two languages on the Ark?
The aim of the present study was to research the effect of semantic illusions on sentence processing in L1 Dutch and L2 English. A rating study and a sentential judgement task were conducted in order to examine this particular phenomenon. The rating study contained a questionnaire in which participants had to judge a question on its semantics. The sentential judgement task included an RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation) task in which questions were presented word by word. The results showed that participants show a tendency towards a slower processing of semantic illusions in their second language English than in their first language Dutch. Strikingly, the RT did not differ between correct sentences in either language. The current study considers mental model building to be a possible explanation for the findings, as it may be that detailed lexical information pertaining to the mental model is less familiar in the second language.
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