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On the Role of Lexical Items in the Second-Language Development of Mood Use in Spanish
Aarnes Gudmestad
120-133 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This study examines the relationship between individual lexical items and second-language (L2) development of variable mood distinction (the subjunctive-indicative contrast) in Spanish. 150 L2 learners at five proficiency levels and 20 native speakers (NSs) completed three oral data-elicitation tasks, a language proficiency test, and a background questionnaire. The results indicate that L2 learners of Spanish vary their use of verbal moods with individual lexical items from beginning to advanced proficiency levels and that they did not reach the NSs' frequency of subjunctive use with any of the eight lexical items under investigation. The findings also show that that NSs' frequency of subjunctive use and the relative frequency of occurrence of the lexical items in the target language help to characterize the L2 development of variable mood use in Spanish. Thus, this investigation demonstrates that integrating the study of vocabulary into the analysis of a variable morphosyntactic structure is important for the understanding of L2 acquisition and L2 variation.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2012 Second Language Research Forum: Building Bridges between Disciplines
edited by Ryan T. Miller, Katherine I. Martin, Chelsea M. Eddington, Ashlie Henery, Nausica Marcos Miguel, Alison M. Tseng, Alba Tuninetti, and Daniel Walter
Table of contents
Printed edition: $290.00