Development of Learner Use of 'Estar + Adjective' in Contexts of Comparison within an Individual Frame of Reference
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According to 'norm theory' (Falk, 1979), estar is used to establish comparisons within an individual frame of reference, that is, comparisons of the referent with itself. However, the examination of the SLA of estar within these contexts has remained a challenge due to limitations in research instruments that do not specifically target comparisons nor find ways to confirm speaker intent. The current study examines the use of estar in comparisons within an individual frame of reference by creating clear contexts and explicitly prompting comparisons. 101 university Spanish students at four levels of proficiency participated in the study. Findings suggest that side-by-side comparisons within an individual frame of reference do not elicit estar more frequently than other verbs. More importantly, perhaps, the current study highlights the ongoing challenge of adapting 'norm theory' to SLA research design, and encourages future studies to explore additional factors in order to determine what best represents a comparison within an individual frame of reference.
Selected Proceedings of the 9th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Nuria Sagarra and Almeida Jacqueline Toribio
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