01/01/2006 Computer Science Linguistics Psychology
DOI: 10.1075/lald.41.17bor SemanticScholar ID: 62414520 MAG: 2535756255

Is the semantics/syntax interface vulnerable in L2 acquisition? Focus on mood distinctions in relative clauses in L2 Spanish.

Publication Summary

We examine the L2 acquisition by English native speakers of the interpretation of DPs as signaled by mood in Spanish relative clauses. The choice of mood here depends on the specificity of the DP head, not on grammaticality. Modal contexts license non-specific interpretations of DPs and L2 learners only receive instruction on an extremely reduced subset of these. A truth-value judgment task and a sentence combination felicity task were administered to L2 learners and controls. Results show that advanced learners, but not intermediate ones, perform at near native levels, which provides evidence that interface phenomena, deemed difficult to acquire given their inherent complexity and the lack of direct evidence in the input, can in fact be acquired even in cases such as these, in which transfer is not at stake.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Philippe Prévost

Prof. Philippe Prévost

University of Tours - Professor of linguistics

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