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Share Paper 1277

Controlling Contexts and Clarifying Intent: Instrument Design and the Study of the SLA of Estar with Adjectives
Daniel Woolsey
86-99 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Recent approaches to the study of the Spanish copula have moved away from assessing accuracy to describing the "bundle of features" (Falk, 1979; Silva-Corvalán, 1986; Geeslin, 2000) that predict learner copula use. In copula+adjective contexts assessment has been found to be impractical not only because a majority of adjectives can be used with either ser 'to be' or estar 'to be', but also because it is very difficult to ascertain which feature the speaker intends to highlight in a given context. This is particularly true when dealing with second language learners. The current study examines a new instrument design that attempts to confirm speaker intent in copula+adjective contexts. The instrument clarifies speaker intent by creating controlled and unambiguous contexts, and by following learner descriptions with an English repetition task. The contexts specifically addressed in the study are contexts of comparison within an individual frame of reference and contexts of speaker reaction as a result of direct experience with the referent. Both of these contexts create opportunities for the appropriate use of estar.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 7th Conference on the Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese as First and Second Languages
edited by Carol A. Klee and Timothy L. Face
Table of contents
Printed edition: $220.00