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A Study of Cross-linguistic Structural Priming in Passive Construction among English Majors

Author: BaiZuo
Tutor: WuQiong
School: Shenyang Normal
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: structural priming cross-linguistic passive voice lexical-syntacticmodel of bilingual sentence production
CLC: H314
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2014
Downloads: 1
Quote: 0
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In sentence production, people show a tendency to repeat the sentence patternthey have recently encountered, no matter it is the structure used by themselves orheard from other speakers. And this phenomenon is known as structural priming inlinguistics, which exists not only in mono-language, but also in cross-languages.This paper performs a study on the Chinese-English structural priming targetedon passive construction. The researcher carries out an experiment among28collegeEnglish majors in a Normal University in northern China via a picture-describing taskand comes to a conclusion that there exists Chinese-English structural priming inpassive voice. What’s more, this priming results from the implicit learning process,and can be explained by the Lexical-syntactic model of bilingual sentence production,rather than from the effect of prepositional priming. The fact that the unmarkedpassive Chinese priming sentences and the marked Chinese priming can equally leadto English passive target sentences gives clear evidence for this conclusion. At thesame time, this research verified Hartsuiker et al’s (2004) Lexical-syntactic model ofbilingual sentence production. Besides, the priming effect can also be affected by thesyntactic differences of the two languages, the proficiency level of second languagespeakers and the task adopted in the experiment.

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