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Early use of null and overt subjects in L2 Spanish: evidence from two oral tasks

Early use of null and overt subjects in L2 Spanish: evidence from two oral tasks
Early use of null and overt subjects in L2 Spanish: evidence from two oral tasks
Recent research has shown that advanced English learners of Spanish can successfully acquire the syntactic, pragmatic and referential properties of null and overt subjects. However, acquiring these structures is problematic at beginner and at intermediate stages of acquisition for these learners. In this study, we investigate the emergence and development of null and overt subjects by 60 English learners of Spanish (20 beginners, 20 intermediate and 20 advanced) in order to understand why these forms are initially difficult to acquire. The oral data for this study were collected using a paired discussion task and a story retell and are freely available from the SPLLOC project (www.splloc.soton.ac.uk). We argue that the cline of difficulty suggested by Cho & Slabakova (2013), based on whether L1-L2 form-meaning mismatches require reassembly and whether a dedicated morpheme is available, makes appropriate predictions for these structures. We also argue that the type of task used to elicit the oral data and the overall linguistic and narrative abilities of the learners are also likely to influence the rate of use of these forms.
Language Science Press
Dominguez, Laura
9c1bf2b4-b582-429b-9e8a-5264c4b7e63f
Arche, Maria J.
6066fa9e-e8b0-4d2b-aa51-e3bd061c9c8b
McManus, Kevin
Schmid, Monika S
Dominguez, Laura
9c1bf2b4-b582-429b-9e8a-5264c4b7e63f
Arche, Maria J.
6066fa9e-e8b0-4d2b-aa51-e3bd061c9c8b
McManus, Kevin
Schmid, Monika S

Dominguez, Laura and Arche, Maria J. (2022) Early use of null and overt subjects in L2 Spanish: evidence from two oral tasks. In, McManus, Kevin and Schmid, Monika S (eds.) How Special are Early Birds? Foreign Language Teaching and Learning. (EuroSLA Studies Series) Language Science Press. (In Press)

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Recent research has shown that advanced English learners of Spanish can successfully acquire the syntactic, pragmatic and referential properties of null and overt subjects. However, acquiring these structures is problematic at beginner and at intermediate stages of acquisition for these learners. In this study, we investigate the emergence and development of null and overt subjects by 60 English learners of Spanish (20 beginners, 20 intermediate and 20 advanced) in order to understand why these forms are initially difficult to acquire. The oral data for this study were collected using a paired discussion task and a story retell and are freely available from the SPLLOC project (www.splloc.soton.ac.uk). We argue that the cline of difficulty suggested by Cho & Slabakova (2013), based on whether L1-L2 form-meaning mismatches require reassembly and whether a dedicated morpheme is available, makes appropriate predictions for these structures. We also argue that the type of task used to elicit the oral data and the overall linguistic and narrative abilities of the learners are also likely to influence the rate of use of these forms.

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Dominguez & Arche null overt subjects L2 Spanish - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 31 May 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 467323
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/467323
PURE UUID: 49da2ab7-3ea5-45cc-9f3c-6529f9d69584
ORCID for Laura Dominguez: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2701-2469

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Date deposited: 06 Jul 2022 16:31
Last modified: 07 Jul 2022 01:41

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Contributors

Author: Laura Dominguez ORCID iD
Author: Maria J. Arche
Editor: Kevin McManus
Editor: Monika S Schmid

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