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Languages 2018, 3(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3020021

Typological Differences in Morphological Patterns, Gender Features, and Thematic Structure in the L2 Acquisition of Ashaninka Spanish

1
Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 15 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
2
School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, Australian National University, 110 Ellery Crescent, ACT 2601 Acton, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract

It has been widely argued that morphological competence, particularly functional morphology, represents the bottleneck of second language acquisition (Jensen et al. 2017; Lardiere 1998, 2005; Slabakova 2008, 2009, 2013). In this study, we explore three challenging aspects of the morphology of Spanish among advanced L1 Ashaninka—L2 Spanish speakers: (i) the acquisition of proclitics and enclitics with inflected verbs; (ii) the distribution of accusative clitics according to the thematic role of the direct object in anaphoric and doubling structures; and (iii) the distribution of clitic forms and their association with gender features. Our results show evidence of the L2 acquisition of clitic structures in L2 Spanish speakers, and no difference between native and L2 speakers regarding sensitivity to thematic roles. However, there are statistically significant differences between groups in the distribution of the gender specification of the clitic antecedents or doubled determiner phrases (DPs). We take these results as evidence in support of the view that morphological patterns can be acquired (proclitics vs. suffixes) as well as preferences for mapping thematic roles onto clitics, but subtle differences in the continuum of preferences for mapping gender features are more difficult to acquire. View Full-Text
Keywords: clitic features; functional morphology; second language acquisition; contact; typology clitic features; functional morphology; second language acquisition; contact; typology
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Sánchez, L.; Mayer, E. Typological Differences in Morphological Patterns, Gender Features, and Thematic Structure in the L2 Acquisition of Ashaninka Spanish. Languages 2018, 3, 21.

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