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Strobach, Tilo and Schönpflug, Ute (2011): Can a connectionist model explain the processing of regularly and irregularly inflected words in German as L1 and L2? In: International Journal of Bilingualism, Vol. 15, No. 4: pp. 446-465 [PDF, 419kB]


The connectionist model is a prevailing model of the structure and functioning of the cognitive system of the processing of morphology. According to this model, the morphology of regularly and irregularly inflected words (e.g., verb participles and noun plurals) is processed in the same cognitive network. A validation of the connectionist model of the processing of morphology in German as L2 has yet to be achieved. To investigate L2-specific aspects, we compared a group of L1 speakers of German with speakers of German as L2. L2 and L1 speakers of German were assigned to their respective group by their reaction times in picture naming prior to the central task. The reaction times in the lexical decision task of verb participles and noun plurals were largely consistent with the assumption of the connectionist model. Interestingly, speakers of German as L2 showed a specific advantage for irregular compared with regular verb participles.

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