Indiana University Bloomington
Department of Second Language Studies  
French: Etudes de langue seconde  

Meet the Faculty

Laurent Dekydtspotter

Photo of Laurent DekydtspotterEducation

Contact Information

Indiana University
Ballantine Hall 611
Bloomington, IN 47405
(812) 855-2221

Areas of Research

(Development of) interpretive knowledge: phrasal semantics, lexical semantics and grammatically computed pragmatic inferences. Sentence processing: information integration in L2 processing.

Personal Statement

Professor Dekydtspotter’s primary research foci lie in the degrees to which second language learners can acquire sentence types that are not grammatical in the learner's native language as well as with the precise manner in which second language perceivers in various stages of development go about interpreting sentences of the target language input, with special interest in the integration of information from various domains: context, pragmatics, prosody, semantics and syntax.

The reason for the focus on semantics is that not all ways of combining words together have the same semantic consequences. Aspects of one's semantic intuitions results from the precise way in which one goes about putting the sentence together. In fact, interpretive research developed at IU suggests that L2 learners develop grammars that are in the same range as native systems.

The reason for the second focus on processing is that not all ways of combining information together have the same consequences for language understanding. In a string of experiments, I have investigated the extent to which context can override syntactic information in the manner in which L2 learners perceive sentences. Our research so far found a deep syntactic reflex in second language acquirers of French, at the low intermediate proficiency level and beyond. This threatens the notion that L2 perceivers do not process sentences as deeply as natives, relying on lexical and contexual information instead.

Courses Recently Taught

Publication Highlights

Dekydtspotter, L. & Renaud, C. (2014) On second language processing and grammatical development: The parser in second language acquisition. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 4(2), 131–165.

Dekydtspotter, L. & Miller, A. K. (2013) Inhibitive and facilitative priming induced by traces in the processing of wh-dependencies in a second language. Second Language Research, 29(3), 345–372.

Dekydtspotter, L., Wang, Y.-T., Kim, B., Kim, H-J., Kim, H.-K., & Lee, J.-K. (2012) Anaphora under Reconstruction during Processing in English as a Second Language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 34, 561–590.

Darcy, I., Dekydtspotter, L., Sprouse, R. A., Scott, J. H.G., Glover, J., McGuire, M., & Kaden, C. (2012) Direct Mapping of Acoustics to Phonology: On the lexical encoding of front round vowels in L1 English-L2 French acquisition. Second Language Research, 28, 1–36.

Dekydtspotter, L. (2009) Second Language Epistemology, Take Two. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 31, 291-321.

Dekydtspotter, L. & Renaud, C. (2009) On the contrastive analysis of features in second language acquisition: Uninterpretable gender on past participles in English–French processing. Second Language Research, 25, 251–263.

Dekydtspotter, L., Donaldson, B. Edmonds, A. C., Liljestrand Fultz, A., & Petrush, R. A. (2008) Syntax and prosodic computations in the resolution of relative clause attachment ambiguity by English-French learners. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30, 453–480.

Dekydtspotter, L. & Hathorn, J. (2005) Quelque chose (...) de remarquable in English-French Acquisition: Mandatory, Informationally Encapsulated Computations in Second Language Interpretation. Second Language Research, 21, 291-323.

Dekydtspotter, L. & Outcalt, S. (2005) A Syntactic Bias in Scope Ambiguity Resolution in the Processing of English-French Cardinality Interrogatives: Evidence for Informational Encapsulation. Language Learning, 1, 1-37.

Dekydtspotter, L, Sprouse, R. A., & Swanson, K. (2001) Reflexes of the Mental Architecture in Second Language Acquisition: The Interpretation of Discontinuous Combien Extractions in English-French Interlanguage. Language Acquisition, 9, 175-227.

Dekydtspotter, L. (2001) The Universal Parser and Interlanguage: Domain-Specific Mental Organization in the Comprehension of Combien Interrogatives in English-French Interlanguage. Second Language Research, 17, 93-145.

Dekydtspotter, L & Sprouse, R. A. (2001) Mental Design and (Second) Language Epistemology: Adjectival Restrictions of Wh-Quantifier and Tense in English-French Interlanguage. Second Language Research, 17, 1-35.

Dekydtspotter, L., Sprouse, R. A., & Thyre, R. (1999/2000 ) The Interpretation of Quantification at a Distance in English-French Interlanguage: Domain-Specificity and Second Language Acquisition. Language Acquisition, 8, 265-320.

Dekydtspotter, L, Sprouse, R. A., & Anderson, B. (1998) Interlanguage A-bar Dependencies: Binding Construals, Null Prepositions and Universal Grammar. 1998. Second Language Research, 14, 341-358.

Dekydtspotter, L, Sprouse, R. A., & Anderson, B. (1997) The Interpretive Interface in L2 Acquisition: the Process-Result Distinction in English-French Interlanguage Grammars. Language Acquisition, 6, 297-332.