Current frameworks for understanding cross-linguistic influence in multilingualism derive primarily from studies of language production. Such studies examine cross-linguistic influence, or how a first language affects second language processing, in writing produced by an individual. Analysis that derives from this work on written text provides key insights for native language identification and other features of language acquisition in learners. However, insights gained from studies that focus on language production offer an incomplete account of cross-linguistic influence in language processing.
This system presents a novel framework for reviewing cross-linguistic influence in language comprehension. The end-to-end system predicts the native language of a reader based on their eye-movement patterns when reading free-form English. This innovative analysis of eye-movement patterns during reading provides the basis for further inquiry of cross-linguistic influence in language comprehension. Combined with evidence from language production, this line of investigation can play a key role in advancing linguistic theory of multilingualism.