The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 19, No. 4, pp.587-612
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Dec 2019
Received 31 Oct 2019 Revised 15 Dec 2019 Accepted 22 Dec 2019

Identification of Focus Information with Contextual and Lexical Cues by Korean Learners of English: Evidence from Reaction Times Analyzed by Linear Mixed-Effect Models

Wonil Chung ; Bum-Sik Park
Dongguk University
Dongguk University


The current study examined the interaction between contextual and lexical focus cues in sentence processing of the identification of focus information in double object construction by Korean Learners of English. The study conducted three self-paced reaction time experiments and the results were analyzed by linear mixed-effects models (LMM). We found Korean speakers preferred the context specifying focus on direct object when processing interrogative contexts specifying focus on either the indirect or direct object in double object constructions. We also found that unlike English speakers, Korean speakers had difficulty in processing the elliptical remnant, cued by lexical focus. We suggest that the processing difficulty might be ascribed to Korean speakers’ insensitivity to the effect of relative positions of lexical focus cues.


focus, double-object construction, focus particle, remnant


We are very grateful to three anonymous reviewers of Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics for very helpful comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are solely ours. This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A5B5A02024154).


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Chung, Wonil (first author), ProfessorProfessor, Dongguk University-SeoulDepartment of English language and literature30 Pildong-ro 1-gil, Jung-guSeoul, KoreaTel: 02) 2260-3153E-mail:

Park, Bum-Sik (corresponding author), ProfessorProfessor, Dongguk University-SeoulDepartment of English language and literature30 Pildong-ro 1-gil, Jung-guSeoul, KoreaTel: 02) 2260-3166E-mail: