Constructional Processing in a Second Language: The Role of Constructional Knowledge in Verb-Construction Integration

Hyunwoo Kim, Yangon Rah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The constructionist approach holds that an argument structure construction, a conventionalized form–meaning correspondence of a sentence, allows language users to efficiently access sentential information. This study investigated whether increased sensitivity to constructional information would enable second language learners to efficiently fuse information from a verb and a construction during real-time sentence processing. Based on their performance in an English sentence sorting task, we divided Korean-speaking learners of English into construction-centered and verb-centered groups depending on their degree of reliance on constructional information in sorting. These groups were then administered a self-paced reading task where learners read English constructions in a word-by-word fashion. Results showed that learners’ reading time was contingent upon constructional sensitivity such that the construction-centered group was faster than the verb-centered group at integrating argument roles between a verb and a construction. These findings provide new evidence that constructional information can facilitate second language sentence processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1056
Number of pages35
JournalLanguage Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Language Learning Research Club, University of Michigan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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