The morphosyntax-lexicon interface breakdown: an aspectual account of the L2 acquisition of ser and estar by L1 English speakers Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Gómez-Soler, Inmaculada
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Linguistics
  • This thesis analyzes the L2 acquisition of ser and estar by L1 English speakers. My results showed the following patterns: overgeneralization of ser, omission of estar, difficulty with semantic constraints and with locations of events and better performance in the written task. These facts can be explained by means of the Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis. I claim that the problems with ser and estar stem from processing difficulties and an impossibility to retrieve estar from the lexicon due to the difficulty that L1 English learners of Spanish have identifying its aspectual properties. Interestingly, L1 learners show the opposite pattern: they overgeneralize estar. This fact can be explained through the Aspect First Hypothesis, which proposes that children use inflectional morphology to mark aspect. So, the aspectual element seems to be the key to understanding both the L1 and the L2 processes of acquisition of ser and estar.
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  • In Copyright
  • Becker, Misha
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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