Article published in:Romance Linguistics 2012: Selected papers from the 42nd Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Cedar City, Utah, 20-22 April 2012
Edited by Jason Smith and Tabea Ihsane
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 7] 2015
► pp. 3–16
The acquisition of clitics in L2 Spanish
Examining restrictions on clitic solidarity
This study examines the mental representation of clitic object pronouns in English L2 Spanish speakers of beginning, intermediate and advanced proficiencies. We present the results of a scalar grammaticality judgment task, which examines knowledge of clitic placement in both Exceptional Case Marking (ECM) verb constructions and non-ECM (finite and modal + infinitival) constructions. Our findings suggest that these advanced L2 learners have converged on the Spanish grammar, showing high sensitivity to the restrictions placed on clitic solidarity in ECM constructions coupled with acute knowledge of the distribution pattern of Spanish clitics in non-ECM environments. We argue that this pattern supports UG-accessibility approaches to adult L2 acquisition.
Published online: 28 August 2015
Bruhn de Garavito, Joyce & Silvina Montrul
1996 “Verb-movement and clitic placement in French and Spanish as a second language”. Proceedings of the 20th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development , 123–134. Sommerville, Mass.: Cascadilla Press.
Duffield, Nigel & Lydia White
Hawkins, Roger & Hajime Hattori
Liceras, Juana M.
Masullo, Pascual J.
2004 “Clitics aren’t Climbers!” (Unpublished manuscript). University of Pittsburg, Pittsburg.
Schwartz, Bonnie & Rex Sprouse
Tsimpli, Ianthi & Maria Dimitrakopoulou