This article explores whether L2 children's acquisition patterns of copula be reveal sensitivity to the semantics of predicates, namely, the individual/stage-level (IL vs. SL) distinction, as discussed in Kratzer (1995). The data come from five consecutive child L2 learners of English (ages 6-9), of whom two speak Russian, two speak Azerbaijani, and one speaks Japanese as L1. First, in contrast to Becker's (2000, 2001) studies of L1 English-speaking children, the IL/SL contrast is not nearly as pronounced in the data of consecutive bilinguals. Second, the acquisition rate of be by L2 children by far outpaces the acquisition rate of inflectional morphology. The omissions of be in the child data may result either from a missing Tense (both in SL and IL structures) or may result from a lexical deficiency in the morphological component of early L2 vocabulary.
Proceedings of the 6th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2002): L2 Links
edited by Juana M. Liceras, Helmut Zobl, and Helen Goodluck
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