Vol. 31:2 (2018) ► pp. 437–466
On focus and weight in Spanish as a heritage language
Previous research on heritage speaker (HS) bilingualism suggests, not without controversy, that certain properties of HSs’ grammars, mainly discursive properties, can result in divergent grammatical outcomes in adulthood be it as a result of incomplete acquisition or attrition. This study contributes to this line of research by examining whether HSs’ word order configurations with Spanish double object constructions reflect compliance with the pragmatic (End-Focus Principle) and syntactic related factors (End-Weight Principle) that regulate word order in Spanish. To this end, two groups of HSs with different proficiency levels in Spanish as well as a bilingual and a monolingual control group, all of Mexican origin, completed an acceptability judgment task. HSs’ performance on this task shows that their knowledge of the discursive nuances associated with constituent order remains as robust as their knowledge of the syntactic factors associated with this phenomenon. Our findings therefore suggest that this linguistic domain may not be subject to so-called incomplete acquisition or L1 attrition.
- 2.Background information
- 2.1Theoretical issues: End-Focus Principle and End-Weight Principle
- 2.2Double object constructions: The dative alternation
- 2.3Acquisition studies
- 2.4Motivation and research questions
- 3.The study
Cited by 3 other publications
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