Morphology and syntax disassociation in SLA: a study on clitic acquisition in Spanish

Arche, Maria J. and Dominguez, Laura (2011) Morphology and syntax disassociation in SLA: a study on clitic acquisition in Spanish. In, Galani, Alexandra, Hicks, Glyn and Tsoulas, George (eds.) Morphology and its Interfaces. Amsterdam, NL, John Benjamins, 291-319. (Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 178).


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This paper investigates the L2 acquisition of Spanish object clitics by L1 English learners. Spanish clitics are analyzed as bundles of agreement and referential features morphologically marked for number and gender. We examine the relationship between morphology and syntax in L2 learners' grammars in order to assess two current acquisition hypotheses: the Impaired Representation Hypothesis (IRH) and the Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis (MSIH). Data from a production and a comprehension task suggest that learners have an unimpaired narrow syntax, despite apparent inflectional variability. We propose that absent or inaccurate morphology can be explained by a deficit in the mapping to PF. This supports a dissociation between syntactic representation and surface inflection.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9789027255617 (hardback)
9789027287014 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Modern Languages
ePrint ID: 143917
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
May 2011Published
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2010 14:39
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:19

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