This study extends Belletti, Bennati and Sorace (2007) to test the Interface Hypothesis (Tsimpli and Sorace, 2006) through investigating acquisition of discourse constraints (topic shift) in the use of subject and object pronouns by advanced L1 English speakers of L2 Japanese. The results of an off-line experiment challenge Belletti, Bennati and Sorace (2007) in two respects. First, subjecthood rather than topichood determines preferred choice of antecedents for pronouns in Japanese. Second, the advanced L2 Japanese speakers had different interpretations of null pronouns, not overt pronouns, from monolinguals. These results oppose the Interface Hypothesis, suggesting that [-subject shift] requirement for null pronouns, not [+topic shift] requirement for overt pronouns, can be a residual problem in the L2 grammar.
Proceedings of the 11th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2011)
edited by Julia Herschensohn and Darren Tanner
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