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Sources of variability in linguistic memory systems


The target article makes a strong case that L2 comprehenders recover linguistic representations that are qualitatively similar to those recovered by L1 comprehenders. Moreover as they attempt to link non-adjacent elements, they do so using the same basic mechanism: cue-based retrieval in a content-addressable memory (Van Dyke & Lewis, 2003). In this commentary, I will not address the empirical adequacy of the argument, but instead consider some interesting theoretical challenges it poses for our understanding of working memory in sentence processing.

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