Chapter published in:L1 Acquisition and L2 Learning: The view from Romance
Edited by Larisa Avram, Anca Sevcenco and Veronica Tomescu
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 65] 2021
► pp. 174–202
L1 effects in the L2 acquisition of long-distance binding in European Portuguese
This paper examines the acquisition, by Spanish and Italian speakers, of the binding properties of the long-distance reflexive si in European Portuguese in indicative and subjunctive contexts, addressing the following research questions: (i) Do learners transfer knowledge of the binding properties of the equivalent reflexive in their L1? (ii) Do they develop knowledge of the binding properties of the reflexive? Despite the fact that Spanish and Italian reportedly differ in the availability of long-distance binding (Napoli, 1979; Otero, 1999), our results from a study on native speakers of both languages, using a picture selection task, showed a significant preference for local binding. Findings from a truth-value judgement task applied to Spanish- and Italian-speaking learners of L2 European Portuguese are reported: both learner groups show a preference for local binding but follow different developmental paths. The results also indicate delays in the development of the relevant knowledge of long distance reflexives.
Keywords: L2 acquisition, L1 transfer, long-distance binding, European Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, reflexive si
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