This study investigated whether Chinese–Korean bilinguals can use structure-based information to interpret Korean sentences containing floating numeral quantifiers during online processing. A numeral quantifier in Korean can be stranded from its modified noun through scrambling as long as the quantifier forms a constituent with the noun. For Chinese–Korean bilinguals, acquiring this structural knowledge gives rise to a learnability problem because this ability cannot be derived from the L1, not easily induced from Korean input and is not obtained through classroom instruction. In acceptability judgment, highly proficient Chinese–Korean bilinguals demonstrated target-like knowledge of this structural constraint. Results from a self-paced reading task showed that the bilinguals showed sensitivity to the violation of the mismatch between an NQ and its modified NP, both in local and non-local dependency conditions. Our findings suggest that structure-based processing is possible for highly proficient bilinguals even when the target structure is not instantiated in bilinguals’ L1.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language