This paper investigates the role of the native language in the acquisition of binding asymmetries in Spanish dative constructions. English and Spanish have different morphosyntactic realizations of the Dative Alternation. However, they share the interpretive properties of reflexives and quantifiers, as the Binding Theory predicts. A sentence interpretation task was used to test whether Full Transfer / Full Access Hypothesis (FT/FA H) can account for these two dimensions of the same linguistic phenomenon, i.e., the morphosyntactic and the interpretative one. Results indicate that low intermediate learners transfer from their L1 at the morphosyntactic level but not at the interpretive level. This suggests that certain aspects of interpretation are not accessible at early stages of learning. Initially, interpretations may be dissociated from morphosyntactic knowledge.
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
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