Home > Events > LangSci Lunch Talk: Lara Ehrenhofer (LING)
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LangSci Lunch Talk: Lara Ehrenhofer (LING)

Time: 
Thursday, March 09, 2017 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Location: 
2130 H.J. Patterson (LSC)

Food and ideas bring people together.  Our weekly lunch talk series provides students and faculty with the opportunity to present their in-progress work to a supportive, interdisciplinary audience.

Lunch is served starting at 12:15pm.

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Sprechen Sie Passiv? Word order does not influence German learners’ interpretation of passives

Child learners of many languages experience persistent difficulty in comprehending passives, possibly because of difficulties with syntactic revision. However, children learning German outperform similarly-aged peers, perhaps due to their experience parsing flexible word orders. We adapted an exacting act-out task which exploited the V2 properties of German to investigate the importance of word order and cue timing in learners’ success with passives. Our results show that German learners perform well across word orders, suggesting that syntactic revision impacts passive interpretation less than previously assumed. Syntactic and morphosyntactic features of German may encourage weaker commitments to thematic roles early in parsing.