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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/22021

Title: Interface conditions on postverbal subjects: a corpus study of L2 English
Authors: Lozano, Cristóbal
Mendikoetxea, Amaya
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: This paper investigates how syntactic knowledge interfaces with other cognitive systems by focusing on the production of postverbal subjects, V(erb)-S(ubject) order, in an L1 Spanish-L2 English corpus. VS order in both native and L2 English is shown to be constrained by properties operating at three interfaces: (i) lexicon-syntax: the verb is unnacusative (Unaccusative Hypothesis); (ii) syntax-discourse: the subject is focus (End-Focus Principle) and (iii) syntax-phonology: the subject is heavy (End-Weight Principle). We show that learner produce postverbal subjects under the same interface conditions as in native English. Thus, unaccusativity is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for VS production. However, our learners overproduce VS and show persistent errors in their syntactic encoding. Our findings support recent proposals that learners’ deficits stem from difficulties at coordinating syntactic knowledge with knowledge from other external systems, but they suggest that the nature of these deficits is not necessarily external to the syntax.
Sponsorship: Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (HUM2005-0127/FILO). Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (FFI2008-01584 and EDU2008-01268).
Keywords: Second language acquisition
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/22021
ISSN: 1366-7289
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: LOZANO, C. ; MENDIKOETXEA, A. Interface conditions on postverbal subjects: a corpus study of L2 English. En: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. 2010, vol. 13, n.4, pp. 475-497. [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/22021]
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