The present study examines Spanish mood selection in a written preference task among intermediate and advanced-level second language (L2) learners of Spanish according to specific morphological and semantic linguistic features. Two intact university classes of English-speaking L2 learners of Spanish participated in the study: one advanced (N=20) and one intermediate (N=17) class. The written preference task includes subjunctive items coded for the presence or absence of four linguistic features: irregular subjunctive verbs, expressions of desire, expressions of futurity, and expressions of emotion. Results show advanced-level learners select the subjunctive significantly more than the intermediate-level participants. The linguistic features that significantly predict subjunctive selection also differ between the two groups. Whereas only irregular subjunctive verbs predict subjunctive selection for the intermediate-level learners, irregular verbs and expressions of desire work together to predict the advanced-level learners' subjunctive selection. Thus these results suggest that for L2 learners, morphological features of subjunctive verbs predict subjunctive selection before other semantic features such as desire, futurity, and emotion.
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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