Junya Fukuta, Aki Goto, Yusaku Kawaguchi, Akari Kurita, Daisuke Murota
May 23, 2017
This study explored whether Japanese EFL learners can utilize syntactically–driven algorithmic processing. For this purpose, the study attempted to inhibit other forms of processing (i. e., semantically–driven heuristic processing and processing with explicit knowledge) by using a self–paced reading task with priming of PP–attachment ambiguity. In the experiment, 20 highly proficient Japanese learners and 18 native speakers of English engaged in a phrase–by–phrase self–paced reading task after reading prime sentences. Although the results of non–native speakers (NNSs) showed a similar tendency to the NSs, there were slight differences between NSs and NNSs in terms of the size of the priming effects. This indicated that highly proficient Japanese EFL learners can utilize syntactically–driven algorithmic processing, but the process may be relatively “fragile” compared to that of NSs.