ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 225-233.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00225

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The Moderating Factors and Their Effect in Late Second Language Learners’ Syntactic Processing

CHANG Xin1; WANG Pei2   

  1. (1 School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China) (2 Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China)
  • Received:2013-06-13 Online:2015-02-14 Published:2015-02-14
  • Contact: WANG Pei, E-mail:


Recent brain cognition research mainly based on ERP found that second language proficiency, cross-linguistic similarity and working memory-centered individual cognitive ability are independent but influence each other, which leads to the theoretical discrepancy between Shallow Structure Hypothesis indicating there is fundamental difference in L2 syntactic processing between late L2 learners and native speakers and Unified Competition Model which is on the opposite and proposes hat that there is no fundamental Differences. L2 processing as compared to the L1 (or to native speakers of the L2) is generally associated with constructions that were crosslinguistically dissimilar or unique to the L2.The difference between the two claims lies in whether late L2 learner can achieve native-like L2 syntactic processing. Accordingly, cross-linguistic studies on the interactive role of these three factors should be conducted in the future.

Key words: second language learners, syntactic processing, second language proficiency, cross-linguistic similarity, working memory