On the Acquisition of the Prenominal Placement of Evaluative Adjectives in L2 Spanish
Antonia Androutsopoulou, Manuel Español-Echevarría, and Philippe Prévost
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This paper investigates the acquisition of adjectival ordering restrictions in Spanish by French learners, focusing on evaluative adjectives (EAs) (e.g. nefasto 'fateful'). In Spanish, EAs appear either prenominally or postnominally, whereas in French most EAs are postnominal. Spanish EAs are assumed to involve a focus feature triggering their movement to a prenominal position. Results from grammaticality judgments show that prenominal adjectives are confusing to intermediate learners. There is variability, in that some adjectives assumed to be located low in Cinque's (1994) adjectival hierarchy are incorrectly accepted prenominally. Variability is also observed in the advanced learners, but it is much more L1-consistent than in the intermediates, and it may be overcome. The results are compatible with Herschensohn's (2000) Constructivist approach, with initial underspecification of the interpretable focus feature in IL grammars and gradual specification on EAs. This gradual process would first become L1-consistent before becoming native-like.
Selected Proceedings of the 10th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Joyce Bruhn de Garavito and Elena Valenzuela
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