Chapter published in:Research on Second Language Processing and Processing Instruction: Studies in honor of Bill VanPatten
Edited by Michael J. Leeser, Gregory D. Keating and Wynne Wong
[Studies in Bilingualism 62] 2021
► pp. 54–124
The processing of subject shifts in L2 Spanish
An examination of L2 learners’ use of inflectional morphology and reliance on overt subject pronouns
A vital part of understanding language is linking referring expressions to the appropriate antecedents. In null subject languages like Spanish, person-number inflections on verbs are essential to ensuring the appropriate connections are made. However, second language (L2) learners have limited processing capabilities (VanPatten, 1996, 2015), and may rely on strategies that steer them away from inflections. The current study examines whether first language English/L2 Spanish learners process verb inflections that signal subject shifts or if they prefer to process lexical items (i.e., overt subjects) as predicted by VanPatten’s lexical preference principle. The results of this study indicate that non-natives do not rely on inflections to link antecedents and referring expressions, and that L2 processing is facilitated by overt subject pronouns.
Keywords: L2 processing, null subjects, overt subjects, verbal morphology, L2 reading, input processing, lexical preference principle
Published online: 17 March 2021
Al-Kasey, T., & Pérez-Leroux, A. T.
Alonso-Ovalle, L., Fernández-Solera, S., Frazier, L., & Clifton, C.
Ballester, E. P.
Bruhn de Garavito, J.
Carminati, M. N.
Council of Europe
(2001) Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Retrieved from Council of Europe Portal: https://rm.coe.int/1680459f97
Ellis, N. C., & Sagarra, N.
Filiaci, F., Sorace, A., & Carreiras, M.
García-Alcaraz, E., & Bel, A.
Gelormini-Lezama, C., & Almor, A.
Geeslin, K., & Gudmestad, A.
Glass, W. R., & Perez-Leroux, A. T.
Gundel, J. K., Hedberg, N., & Zacharski, R.
Haznedar, B., & Schwartz, B. D.
Keating, G. D.
Keating, G. D., Jegerski, J., & VanPatten, B.
Prévost, P., & White, L.
Roberts, L., Gullberg, M., & Indefrey, P.
Rothman, J., & Iverson, M.
Shin, N. L., & Cairns, H. S.
Sorace, A., & Filiaci, F.
VanPatten, B., & Keating, G. D.
(2007, April). Getting tense. Paper delivered at the annual meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Costa Mesa, CA.