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Reciprocal Verbs in the L2 French of Native Speakers of Russian
Alyona Belikova
1-14 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


According to the Lexicon-Syntax Parameter, languages split as to whether they derive reciprocal verbs in the syntax or in the lexicon. In 'syntax' languages (e.g., French), reciprocalization is productive, and discontinuous reciprocals are generally disallowed. In 'lexicon' languages (e.g., Russian), the application of reciprocalization is restricted, but discontinuous reciprocals are grammatical. According to FTFA, although French L2-ers whose L1 is Russian will start off by adopting the lexicon setting, parameter resetting is predicted to be possible, given that the evidence for the productivity of reciprocalization is readily available in the L2 input. Consequently, L2-ers should end up knowing the more subtle property associated with the syntax setting, the ungrammaticality of discontinuous reciprocals. In addition to parameter resetting, productivity can trigger two other UG-constrained restructuring scenarios involving different sorts of transfer. The results of the pilot experiment reveal that all three types of restructuring are in fact attested with advanced-intermediate L2 speakers. The crucial finding is that a group of advanced subjects does fall into the parameter resetting scenario, which supports a 'UG access' view of L2 acquisition.

Published in

Proceedings of the 9th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2007)
edited by Roumyana Slabakova, Jason Rothman, Paula Kempchinsky, and Elena Gavruseva
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Printed edition: $280.00