The Typological Primacy Model (TPM; Rothman, 2011, 2013, 2015) proposes that transfer in the initial stages of L3 acquisition will come from the most structurally similar background language, regardless of the order and context of previous language acquisition. However, research on L3 Brazilian Portuguese acquisition by Spanish speaking bilinguals has hinted at differences in transfer based on order and context of acquisition (Carvalho & da Silva, 2006; Johnson, 2004). Consequently, the present study measures three groups of Spanish/English bilinguals’ knowledge of mood in non-obligatory contexts in Spanish and subsequently in Portuguese. Results suggest that participants transfer from Spanish, although there are significant differences in their knowledge of mood distinctions and in the transfer of that knowledge to L3 Portuguese.
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