Vol. 151 (2006) ► pp. 83–98
Agreement in the English Interlanguage of Basque/Spanish Bilinguals
a Minimalist Farewell to pro
This study investigates the status of subject pronouns in the English interlanguage of Basque-Spanish bilinguals from a minimalist perspective. The oral production of 20 participants was analyzed at two different points in their acquisition of English (Time 1:396 hours of exposure; Time 2:564 hours of exposure). The pronoun he, systematicaily adjoined to the verb at Time 1 in sentences that already feature a DP subject, is interpreted as a place holder for the agreement morphemes in the subjects' L 1s. At Time 2 the entire pronominal system is acquired and English pronouns become independent. The reanalysis of pronouns, from agreement morphemes to free elements, is argued to have a direct impact on the distribution of inflection in the participants' English interlanguage.