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Article

The Effect of Silence and Distance: Evidence from Recomplementation in US Heritage Spanish

Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Languages 2020, 5(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040066
Received: 31 August 2020 / Revised: 10 November 2020 / Accepted: 15 November 2020 / Published: 24 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Advances in Linguistic Research on Heritage Spanish)
The present study investigates the architecture of heritage language grammars, as well as divergence from the baseline, by offering novel data. Recomplementation is defined as a left-dislocated phrase sandwiched between a primary (C1) and an optional secondary (C2) complementizer, e.g., He said that1later in the afternoon that2he would clean his room. While formal syntactic-theoretical accounts align on the grammaticality of recomplementation, experimental findings suggest that the overt C2 option is associated with a decrement in acceptability. An aural acceptability judgment task and a forced-choice preference task were administered in Spanish to 15 advanced US heritage speakers of Spanish (HS) and 12 members of a Colombian Spanish baseline group. Results show that HSs do not rate the overt C2 construction with a decrement in acceptability when compared to the null one. This behavior, along with a higher proportion of overt C2 preference, diverges from the baseline. In line with the Model of Divergent Attainment, we argue that the complexity associated with silent elements and dependency distance combined with processing burden leads to a reanalysis of the linguistic phenomenon. We introduce a multiple representations proposal that accurately describes the data in question and is faithful to current syntactic-theoretical accounts. View Full-Text
Keywords: architecture of heritage language grammars; divergence from the baseline; left periphery; recomplementation architecture of heritage language grammars; divergence from the baseline; left periphery; recomplementation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Frank, J. The Effect of Silence and Distance: Evidence from Recomplementation in US Heritage Spanish. Languages 2020, 5, 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040066

AMA Style

Frank J. The Effect of Silence and Distance: Evidence from Recomplementation in US Heritage Spanish. Languages. 2020; 5(4):66. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040066

Chicago/Turabian Style

Frank, Joshua. 2020. "The Effect of Silence and Distance: Evidence from Recomplementation in US Heritage Spanish" Languages 5, no. 4: 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040066

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