The strategies used to signal information focus — the non-presupposed part of a sentence — in Spanish are under debate. The literature suggests that focus must appear rightmost; however, empirical evidence shows that speakers also realize focus in-situ. Moreover, there is limited research investigating the effects of language variety or knowledge of another language on focus marking. We address these questions via a paced elicited production task, testing speakers who learned Spanish naturalistically in infancy, including two groups of monolinguals and two groups of Spanish/English bilinguals: (a) Spanish natives who learned English after childhood, and (b) early bilinguals exposed to English in early childhood (heritage speakers). Confirming previous empirical studies, results show that all participant groups choose a similar range of focus-marking strategies, vastly preferring in-situ marking with rightmost marking used rarely. Results challenge both theoretical accounts of Spanish focus realization and expectations of special vulnerability at the syntax-discourse interface for bilinguals.
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Cited by 23 other publications
Cruschina, Silvio & Laia Mayol
2022. The Realization of Information Focus in Catalan. Languages 7:4 ► pp. 310 ff.
2022. Testing the Interface Hypothesis: heritage speakers’ perception and production of Spanish subject position with unergative and unaccusative verbs. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 25:5 ► pp. 1730 ff.
2023. Why we need a gradient approach to word order. Linguistics 61:4 ► pp. 825 ff.
López Otero, Julio César
2022. Lexical Frequency Effects on the Acquisition of Syntactic Properties in Heritage Spanish: A Study on Unaccusative and Unergative Predicates. Heritage Language Journal 19:1 ► pp. 1 ff.
Sequeros-Valle, Jose, Bradley Hoot & Jennifer Cabrelli
2020. Clitic-doubled left dislocation in L2 Spanish: The effect of processing load at the syntax-discourse interface. Language Acquisition 27:3 ► pp. 306 ff.
Sequeros-Valle, Jose, Bradley Hoot & Jennifer Cabrelli
2020. Clitic-Doubled Left Dislocation in Heritage Spanish: Judgment versus Production Data. Languages 5:4 ► pp. 47 ff.
2020. Syntactic and Discourse Features in Chinese Heritage Grammars: A Case of Acquiring Features in the Chinese Sentence-Final Particle ba. Languages 5:2 ► pp. 26 ff.
[no author supplied]
2021. Grammatical Aspects of Heritage Languages. In The Cambridge Handbook of Heritage Languages and Linguistics, ► pp. 579 ff.
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