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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/22058

Title: Postverbal subjects at the interfaces in Spanish and Italian learners of L2 English: a corpus analysis
Authors: Lozano, Cristóbal
Mendikoetxea, Amaya
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to characterise the production of postverbal subjects in two ICLE subcorpora (Italian and Spanish). The question has been dealt with before in the literature with emphasis on the production of ungrammatical inversion structures in L2 English of speakers from a variety of L1s, but in quite a scattered, unsystematic and rather intuitive fashion. Our approach seeks to identify the conditions under which learners produce inverted subjects. Based on previous research findings and our review of the theoretical literature, we hypothesise that for Spanish and Italian learners of L2 English, there is a tendency for subject inversion to occur when: the verb is unaccusative (H1), the subject is long or “heavy” (H2), and the subject is new (or relatively new) information or “focus” (H3). While H1 has found confirmation in the L2 literature, H2 and H3 have, to our knowledge, been untested and the facts they describe gone unnoticed in previous research. Our results show that the three conditions are met in the writing of Spanish and Italian L2 speakers of English, despite errors in the syntactic encoding of the structures concerned. Thus, a full account of the production of inverted subjects in L2 English must look at properties which operate at (i) the lexicon-syntax interface, (ii) the syntax-phonology interface, and (iii) the syntax-discourse interface.
Sponsorship: Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (HUM2005-01278/FILO)
Publisher: Gaëtanelle Gilquin, Szilvia Papp, María Belén Díez-Bedmar
Keywords: Second language acquisition
Adquisición de segundas lenguas
Interfaces
Postverbal subjects
Word order
L1 Spanish
L1 Italian
L2 English
End Focus
End Weight
Unaccusatives
Syntax-discourse
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/22058
ISBN: 9789042024465
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Lozano, C. ; Mendikoetxea, A. Postverbal subjects at the interfaces in Spanish and Italian learners of L2 English: a corpus analysis En: Gilquin, G. ; Papp, S. ; Díez-Bedmar, M.B. Linking up contrastive and corpus learner research. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2008, pp. 85-126. [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/22058]
Appears in Collections:DFIA - Capítulos de Libros

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