Chapter published in:Meaning and Structure in Second Language Acquisition: In honor of Roumyana Slabakova
Edited by Jacee Cho, Michael Iverson, Tiffany Judy, Tania Leal and Elena Shimanskaya
[Studies in Bilingualism 55] 2018
► pp. 123–148
The Bottleneck Hypothesis as applied to the Spanish DP
By examining knowledge of interpretive constraints that obtain from new DP feature acquisition in Spanish, this chapter tests the Bottleneck Hypothesis’s claim (Slabakova, 2013, 2014, 2016) that functional morphology is the “bottleneck” of SLA. Individual data from two language groups (Romance (Italian n = 35) and Germanic (English n = 41; German n = 19)) across three tasks testing for knowledge of Spanish DP morphology, syntax and semantics reveal that participants demonstrate knowledge of DP functional morphology before knowledge of the syntax-semantics of adjectival position. The import is twofold: first, individual L2 data is examined across tasks; second, comparing distinct L1 groups makes it possible to ask whether the “bottleneck” is equally problematic for all language pairings, an issue not currently addressed by the hypothesis.
Keywords: Bottleneck Hypothesis, phi-feature acquisition, adjective distribution, SLA, Spanish
Published online: 16 November 2018
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