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English and Japanese interlanguage comprehension strategies: An analysis based on the competition model

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Yoshinori Sasaki*
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of Educational Psychology #210, Education Building, 1310 South Sixth St., Champaign, IL 61820. e-mail: sasac@uiucvmd.bitnet


In an experiment based on the competition model, 12 native Japanese speakers (J1 group) and 12 native English speakers studying Japanese (JFL group) were requested to report sentence subjects after listening to Japanese word strings which consisted of one verb and two nouns each. Similarly, 12 native English speakers (E1 group) and 12 native Japanese speakers studying English (EFL group) reported the sentence subjects of English word strings. In each word string, syntactic (word order) cues and lexical-semantic (animacy/inanimacy) cues converged or diverged as to the assignment of the sentence subjects. The results show that JFL-Ss (experimental subjects) closely approximated the response patterns of J1-Ss, while EFL-Ss showed evidence of transfer from their first language, Japanese. The results are consistent with the developmental precedence of a meaning-based comprehension strategy over a grammar-based one.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1991

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