How similar are shared syntactic representations? Evidence from priming of passives in Greek-English bilinguals

Sotiria Kotzochampou, Vasiliki Chondrogianni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The shared-syntax account of bilingual syntactic representations suggests that similar structures from different languages are represented as one in the bilingual mind. In this study, we examined the degree of morpho-syntactic similarity needed for representations to be shared in the bilingual mind by comparing passive structures in Greek and English. Contrary to English, non-active morphology in Greek is not restricted to passives and the “by phrase” is considered marked. In two structural priming experiments, we examined whether passives can be primed in L1-Greek and, subsequently, whether there is a single representation for passives in Greek-English bilinguals despite distributional and morpho-syntactic differences. Results showed that passive structures were primed in L1-Greek (Experiment 1) and from L1-Greek to L2-English (Experiment 2). Our findings suggest that morpho-syntactic and distributional differences inherent to passives do not prevent priming, and that structural representations can be shared even when featural structure is not identical.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBilingualism: Language and Cognition
Early online date4 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • language production
  • bilingualism
  • syntactic representations
  • structural priming
  • passive

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