Lee, On-Soon. (2018). Implicit statistical learning ability in L1 sentence processing. The Linguistic Association of Korea Journal, 26(3), 51-70. This paper aims to examine the role of implicit statistical learning ability, as measured by artificial grammar learning, in L1-English speakers sentence processing. A total of 44 L1-English adult participants completed two artificial grammar learning tasks and two self-paced English reading tasks. One artificial grammar learning task involved a nonadjacent dependency rule and the other an adjacent dependency rule. One self-paced English reading task contained object relative clauses (a nonadjacent dependency pattern), and the other, number agreement constructions (an adjacent dependency pattern). The results show a significant correlation between the statistical learning of an adjacent dependency rule and the ability to process English number agreement, but not between the statistical learning of a nonadjacent dependency rule and the processing of English object relative clauses. The paper discusses the implications of the partial correlation, and suggests that variations in implicit statistical learning ability may explain why some learners outperform others in the performance of sentence processing.
Key Words: artificial grammar learning, (implicit) statistical learning, sentence processing, relative clauses, English number agreement