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ERIC Number: ED396538
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Resetting Bounding Nodes in Acquiring Spanish.
Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics, v21 p1-19 1996
This paper addresses the issue of whether second language (L2) learners can reset parameters, by testing English speakers learning Spanish on their ability to reset the subjacency and bounding node parameters. The bounding nodes are IP and NP in English and CP and NP in Spanish. Eight American graduate students, highly proficient in the Spanish language, were given a grammatical judgement task in Spanish that included wh-island and complex NP structures. Non-native speaking subjects were average age 24 years and had an average 11.4 years of Spanish study; they passed a pretest that evaluated language structure knowledge. A control group of 7 students from Spain was also tested. Results showed that subjects rejected most of the wh-structures, suggesting that they are still transferring the bounding nodes from English. However, subjects rejected the complex NP structures at a higher rate suggesting that they are beginning to reset the bounding node parameter. Age did not appear to make a difference as all responses were within Universal Grammar (UG) predictions even when they were wrong. Therefore, it is concluded that UG was still operating. Sentences used in the study are appended. (Contains 12 references.) (Author/NAV)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Universal Grammar
Note: For complete volume, see FL 023 880.