Article

Computational Models of Second Language Sentence Processing

Michael Harrington

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195384253.013.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Computational Models of Second Language Sentence Processing

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Sentence comprehension draws on multiple levels of linguistic knowledge, including the phonological, orthographic, lexical, syntactic, and discoursal. This article focuses on the computational models of second language sentence processing. Understanding the computational mechanisms responsible for using this knowledge in real time provides basic insights into how language and the mind work. For a cognitive theory of second language acquisition, a better understanding of how the second language learner develops the capacity to process sentences fluently also has important implications for theories of acquisition and instruction. This article examines two perspectives on written sentence comprehension in the second language. The two approaches considered are syntax based and constraint based. The approaches make fundamentally different assumptions concerning the nature of linguistic representation and how the human speech processing mechanism uses this knowledge in online comprehension. The two perspectives also represent a basic division between formalist and functionalist/usage based approaches to second language learning and use.

Keywords: sentence comprehension; computational models; phonological; orthographic; lexical; syntactic

Article.  6599 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Computational Linguistics

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