The Syntax-Semantics Interface in L2 Acquisition: Genericity and Inflected Infinitive Complements in Non-Native Portuguese
Michael Iverson and Jason Rothman
78-92 (complete paper
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Couched within the contemporary discussion of L2 Interface Vulnerability (see Sorace 2005), the authors test the L2 acquisition of native English-speakers of Portuguese inflected infinitives, focusing on an associated semantic poverty-of-the-stimulus genericity entailment observed by Ambar (1998). The authors demonstrate how convergence on a grammar with inflected infinitives in the present case requires the resetting of two unique parameters, the null-subject parameter (a syntactic parameter) and the inflection parameter (a morphological parameter). The authors provide experimental data from intermediate and advanced learners of L2 Portuguese as well as a native control. The results indicate that parameter resetting is clearly possible by the advanced level, inclusive of the full convergence on syntax-semantics interface properties that fall out from their resetting. The authors discuss these findings as they relate to current theoretical debates within adult generative L2 acquisition.
Selected Proceedings of the 10th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Joyce Bruhn de Garavito and Elena Valenzuela
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