Advanced

Effects of age of acquisition (AoA) and proficiency on processing of syntax in 6- to 8-year old monolingual and bilingual children: an ERP study

Andersson, Annika LU ; Sanders, Lisa D; Karns, Christina M and Neville, Helen J (2014) Society for the Neurobiology of Language SNL
Abstract
Even though language proficiency in children is strongly related to success in almost all domains, neurocognitive studies of L2 processing are typically limited to adults with several years of exposure, who may use general cognitive mechanisms to compensate for any difficulties in L2 processing. For example, whereas previous studies of adult bilinguals have reported differences in the anterior negativity elicited by syntactic violations with delays in exposure to English of less than 3 years (Weber-Fox & Neville, 1996) a precursor to the anterior negativity has been reported in monolingual children as young as 2.5 years of age (Oberecker, et al., 2005). In the current ERP study, processing of English phrase structure was explored in 6-... (More)
Even though language proficiency in children is strongly related to success in almost all domains, neurocognitive studies of L2 processing are typically limited to adults with several years of exposure, who may use general cognitive mechanisms to compensate for any difficulties in L2 processing. For example, whereas previous studies of adult bilinguals have reported differences in the anterior negativity elicited by syntactic violations with delays in exposure to English of less than 3 years (Weber-Fox & Neville, 1996) a precursor to the anterior negativity has been reported in monolingual children as young as 2.5 years of age (Oberecker, et al., 2005). In the current ERP study, processing of English phrase structure was explored in 6- to 8-year old monolingual and bilingual children who acquired English as a second language around 4 years of age. Monolingual children of higher proficiency displayed relatively mature processing of phrase structure violations as indicated by a left anterior negativity over lateral sites and a posterior positivity. High-proficiency bilingual children tended to display a medial anterior negativity and a posterior positivity. The difference in distribution of the anterior effect across groups could only be explained by AoA. However, lower proficiency affected the posterior ERP effect and amplitude of the anterior effects in response to syntactic violations. These results suggest that the more automatic syntactic processing in children is affected by AoA while more controlled, metalinguistic processing may be related to language proficiency. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Language acquisition Event related potentials syntactic processing Age of acquisition
conference name
Society for the Neurobiology of Language SNL
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b445d9fe-5623-4580-a216-e88c8474736e (old id 4936306)
date added to LUP
2015-01-20 14:25:15
date last changed
2016-06-29 09:31:39
@misc{b445d9fe-5623-4580-a216-e88c8474736e,
  abstract     = {Even though language proficiency in children is strongly related to success in almost all domains, neurocognitive studies of L2 processing are typically limited to adults with several years of exposure, who may use general cognitive mechanisms to compensate for any difficulties in L2 processing. For example, whereas previous studies of adult bilinguals have reported differences in the anterior negativity elicited by syntactic violations with delays in exposure to English of less than 3 years (Weber-Fox & Neville, 1996) a precursor to the anterior negativity has been reported in monolingual children as young as 2.5 years of age (Oberecker, et al., 2005). In the current ERP study, processing of English phrase structure was explored in 6- to 8-year old monolingual and bilingual children who acquired English as a second language around 4 years of age. Monolingual children of higher proficiency displayed relatively mature processing of phrase structure violations as indicated by a left anterior negativity over lateral sites and a posterior positivity. High-proficiency bilingual children tended to display a medial anterior negativity and a posterior positivity. The difference in distribution of the anterior effect across groups could only be explained by AoA. However, lower proficiency affected the posterior ERP effect and amplitude of the anterior effects in response to syntactic violations. These results suggest that the more automatic syntactic processing in children is affected by AoA while more controlled, metalinguistic processing may be related to language proficiency.},
  author       = {Andersson, Annika and Sanders, Lisa D and Karns, Christina M and Neville, Helen J},
  keyword      = {Language acquisition Event related potentials syntactic processing Age of acquisition},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Effects of age of acquisition (AoA) and proficiency on processing of syntax in 6- to 8-year old monolingual and bilingual children: an ERP study},
  year         = {2014},
}