ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2013, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (7): 773-782.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00773

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  1. (1上海交通大学外国语学院, 上海 200240) (2上海师范大学心理学系, 上海 200234)
  • 收稿日期:2012-01-16 发布日期:2013-07-25 出版日期:2013-07-25
  • 通讯作者: 王沛
  • 基金资助:

    2013年上海市教委科研创新重点项目(13ZS092); 上海师师范大学重点学科项目; 上海师范大学文科前瞻项目; 上海师范大学理科一般项目

The Syntactic Processing of English Passive Sentence for Late Chinese-English Bilingualists: An ERP Study


  1. (1 School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China) (2 Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China)
  • Received:2012-01-16 Online:2013-07-25 Published:2013-07-25
  • Contact: WANG Pei

摘要: 选取二语中等熟练者和高熟练者两类中国大学生被试, 共40人(27女, 13男), 年龄为20~29岁, 平均年龄23.88岁。采用ERP技术, 以直译型英语被动句和意译型英语被动句作为实验材料, 通过比较无违例、“句法违例句1” (动词过去分词形式错误)、“句法违例句2” (动词过去分词错误用为动词原形而造成的句法违例)以及“句法违例句3” (动词过去分词误用为动词现在分词形式)条件下的行为数据和ERP多维数据变化的基础上, 探讨了二语熟练度和语言间句法结构相似性对汉-英双语者英语被动句句法加工过程的影响。结果表明:高熟练者的反应时和正确率整体上优于中等熟练者; 难易度不同的句法错误信息会直接影响被动句的加工, 对明显有错误的句法信息的反应速度最快, “正确的局部句法信息”反应时最长。对明显有错误的句法信息的正确反应率最高, 最根本的句法结构的错误信息最低。最根本的句法结构的错误信息引发的P600最大, 无违例条件引发的P600最小; 高熟练者对最根本的句法结构的错误信息引发最大的P600效应, 中等熟练者的P600效应未受不同句法错误信息的影响。行为指标支持句法加工相似性效应—— 直译句反应快、正确率高; 意译句反应慢、正确率低。并且此效应在中等熟练者身上表现更加明显。但是脑神经活动模式未表现出句法结构相似性效应, 说明二语熟练度在英语被动句加工中具有更为显著的作用。

关键词: 二语熟练度, 句法结构相似性, 直译型英语被动句, 意译型被动句, 晚期二语者

Abstract: Ample studies have investigated the effect of second language proficiency or cross-linguistic similarity on second language sentence processing. But most of them have paid more attention to one of the two factors rather than both, so it remains to be resolved which factor plays a more important role during sentence processing. Meanwhile, previous studies have mainly focused on morphosyntactic and inflectional violations of simple active sentences in Indo-European languages. Few studies on the processing of Chinese bilinguists’ passive English sentence which are difficult language points for them because the structure involves both the past participle forms of the verbs and especially passive usage of verbs. Thus, to investigate the influence of second language proficiency and syntactic similarities on the sensitivity and processing of English passive sentences, 40 late Chinese-English bilinguists were recruited (27 female, 13male; mean age = 23.88 years) who, according to their L2 proficiency, were divided into two groups (high-proficient group including 17 female and 3 male (mean age = 24.15 years) and intermediate-proficient group including 10 female and 10male (mean age = 23.6 years) to read passive sentences carefully and to indicate for each sentence whether or not it was correct. At the same time, according to cross-linguistic similarity between Chinese and English, the experiment materials -- English passive sentences were divided into literal translation sentences which and can be directly converted into Chinese Bei sentences without changes of the order of the key words in sentences and free translation sentences which are different from Chinese syntactic structure and must change the order of the words, especially the order of the agent and the recipient. In this way, these passive English sentences must be converted into active sentences in Chinese, which conforms to Chinese expression and comprehension. And the study adopted four kinds of syntactic anomalies (respectively sentences with no anomaly, sentences with syntactic anomaly 1 referring to the misuse of verb past participle forms, sentences with syntactic anomaly 2 indicating the misuse of verb original forms and sentences with syntactic anomaly 3 involving the misuse of verb present participle forms). Compared to those in free translation sentences, faster reaction time and higher accuracy rate were found in literal translation sentences, which effect was more significant in intermediate-proficient group. Syntactic anomalies with different difficulties directly influenced the passive sentence processing: the response time to obvious syntactic anomalies was fastest while the response time to “partial-correct syntactic information” was longest. Accuracy rates for obvious syntactic anomalies were highest while accuracy rates for fundamental syntactic anomalies were lowest which elicited a biggest P600 compared to P600 evoked by sentences with no anomaly. For high-proficient group, the biggest P600 was found in the fundamental syntactic anomalies while P600 in intermediate-proficient group was not influenced by different syntactic anomalies. The results showed that a better performance (shorter reaction time and higher accuracy rates) was found for high-proficient group than intermediate-proficient group. However, neural activities did not show cross-linguistic similarity effect, indicating that second language proficiency played a more significant role in English passive sentence processing. As for English passive sentence processing, it is difficult even for high-proficient bilinguists to attain the native-like biphasic ERP components due to insensitivity to the structure.

Key words: second language proficiency, cross-linguistic similarities, literal translation sentences, free translation sentences, the late Chinese-English bilinguists