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Adverbial Quantification and Perfective/Imperfective Interpretive Nuances in L2 Portuguese
Michael Iverson and Jason Rothman
70-80 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Slabakova (2006b) poses and directly addresses the question of whether or not there is a maturational effect (a critical/sensitive period) that affects the semantic component. She demonstrates that there is no empirical evidence suggesting that adults are unable to acquire phrasal semantic properties, even when the accessing of semantic universals is conditioned upon the acquisition of L2 morphosyntactic features (see Dekydtspotter and Sprouse 2001, Slabakova and Montrul 2003). In light of this, the authors test for interpretive properties associated with the aspectual projection higher (outer) AspP in advanced English learners of adult L2 Portuguese via their knowledge of [+/- accidental] related nuances in adverbially quantified preterit and imperfect sentences (Lenci and Bertinetto 2000; Menéndez-Benito 2002). In two experiments, the authors test for L2 knowledge of this [+/- accidental] distinction via semantic felicitousness judgments of adverbially quantified preterit and imperfect sentences depending on a supporting context as well as related restrictions on subject DP interpretations. Overall, the data show that advanced learners acquire this distinction. As the authors discuss, the present data support Full Access theories (White 1989, Schwartz and Sprouse 1996; Duffield and White 1999) and the No-Critical Period for semantics position (Slabakova 2006b), demonstrating that the syntax-semantics interface is not an inevitable locus for fossilization.

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
Table of contents
Printed edition: $280.00