A Study on the Influence of English Proficiency on English Learners’ Understanding of DO/SC Garden Path Sentence

Abstract

Garden path sentence is a local ambiguity in language that reveals the characteristics of human language processing, so it have obtained the focus of linguistic research. This study use introspective multiple choice test and question-response test to explore whether there is a correlation between the ability to interpret DO/SC garden path sentence, the phenomenon of misinterpretation residue and Chinese learners’ English proficiency. The result shows both groups exist garden path phenomenon, but influenced by their English level, there are significant differences in understanding target sentences and in the phenomenon of misinterpretation residue between the high and middle English level group. Therefore, efforts should be made to improve learners’ English proficiency to avoid the garden path phenomenon in the future.