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ERIC Number: EJ940012
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
Cross-Linguistic Variation and the Acquisition of Pronominal Reference in L2 Spanish
Jegerski, Jill; VanPatten, Bill; Keating, Gregory D.
Second Language Research, v27 n4 p481-507 Oct 2011
The current investigation tested two predictions regarding second language (L2) processing at the syntax-discourse interface: (1) that L2 performance on measures of interface phenomena can differ from that of native speakers; and (2) that cross-linguistic influence can be a source of such divergence. Specifically, we examined the offline interpretation of ambiguous subject pronouns with intrasentential antecedents in Spanish and English, including discourse-syntactic constraints that are active in pro-drop Spanish and principles of discourse structure that affect pronominal reference in English. Two participant groups of English-speaking learners of L2 Spanish--an intermediate group and an advanced group--failed to show categorically native-like differentiation between null and overt pronouns in Spanish. Both groups, however, did show marginal effects for Discourse Structure (coordination or subordination of clauses), an effect that was also present in their native English. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction with the advanced group between Pronoun and Discourse Structure, so this group seemed to employ to a certain degree a hybrid strategy. This outcome suggests that pre-existing referential strategy persists even at an advanced level of L2 proficiency and may be a primary barrier to native-like performance, even after target-like L2 principles are acquired and begin to apply. (Contains 6 figures, 2 tables, and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A