ERIC Number: ED454730
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Syntactic Maturity: The Complex Sentence in Intermediate Spanish.
Garrott, Carl L.
This paper begins with a literature review of research on syntactic maturity, defined as the developmental stages from one- and two-word utterances to the hierarchical structures of adult speech, and seeks to answer questions in the context of past and current research in this area. It attempts to study some of the ramifications of the movement toward outcome-based and standards-driven curricula when it is not uncommon for complete syntax to elude many second language learners. As there have been few studies dealing directly with techniques in sentence combining, reducing sentences to less than clauses, adverbial structures, clause embedding, and general syntactic shortcuts for intermediate Spanish language learners, this study seeks to determine the syntactic maturity of a sample of intermediate Spanish language learners and focuses on procedures to extend syntactic procedures to syntactic choices and analyze the resulting data from the procedures. The following hypotheses are presented: there is no significant difference between intermediate I and II Spanish students in their written production of relative pronouns, adjective and noun clauses, or adverbial clauses; nor is there a significant difference between II Spanish students in written production before and after instruction in syntactic shortcuts (nominalized infinitives, gerunds, and participles). It was found that students may benefit from rewriting exercises that collapse clauses into infinitives, participles, and gerunds. Reducing phrases to less than clauses may increase students' intermediate syntactic fluency. Sentence combining techniques may bridge the gap between intermediate and more advanced classes in composition. (Contains 23 references.) (KFT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A