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Beneficial repetition : a study of syntactic priming in ESL learners


Beneficial repetition : a study of syntactic priming in ESL learners

Downs, Sara (2009) Beneficial repetition : a study of syntactic priming in ESL learners. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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MR63284.pdf - Accepted Version


The overall goal of this study was to examine syntactic priming in second language learners of English. Syntactic priming is a phenomenon whereby people demonstrate a tendency to use syntactic structures that are somehow related (or are in fact identical) to those they have previously heard or read. In this sense, priming can be understood as being the effect of repetition. Previous research has shown that native speakers of English (and of many other languages) demonstrate syntactic priming of this kind in their language production. To this end, 78 CEGEP students and 60 University students completed a written sentence completion task, which contained prime and target fragments. The target syntactical structure used was dative alternation, and participants could complete the sentence fragments with a prepositional object, a double object, or any "Other" completion. Participants also completed a grammar proficiency test, which included both general and "dative alternation" items. A significant effect for syntactic priming was found in participants from the University group who obtained high scores in the "dative alternation" section of the grammar proficiency test. The findings from this research have implications for the use of repetition in L2 classroom teaching.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Downs, Sara
Pagination:x, 110 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Thesis Supervisor(s):Trofimovich, P
ID Code:976321
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:23
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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