Open AccessArticle
The Interpretation of Adjective-N Sequences in Spanish Heritage
Languages 2018, 3(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040046 -
Abstract
Adjectives appear predominantly postnominally in Spanish, and when prenominal, cannot be interpreted as restrictive. We explore whether heritage speakers of Spanish have the same interpretive and ordering restriction as monolinguals. Twenty-two US college-age heritage speakers and 17 college-age monolinguals from Peru completed a
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Adjectives appear predominantly postnominally in Spanish, and when prenominal, cannot be interpreted as restrictive. We explore whether heritage speakers of Spanish have the same interpretive and ordering restriction as monolinguals. Twenty-two US college-age heritage speakers and 17 college-age monolinguals from Peru completed a rating task that manipulated word order and interpretation. Items varied in word order (Adj-N/N-Adj) and interpretation (restrictive-only, color and nationality adjectives, and ambiguous adjectives, restrictive and non-restrictive), all framed within a context that favored a restrictive interpretation. Both groups judged Adj-N orders lower than N-Adj orders, and restrictive adjectives lower in prenominal position than ambiguous adjectives. Consequently, we argue that heritage speakers (HS) have the relevant knowledge regarding word order and interpretation, and the interactions among the two properties. We propose a syntactic representation involving NP-raising for both groups, and suggest that in some cases, the higher copy of the NP is deleted, resulting in the linear order Adj-N. We also argue that this analysis may explain the range of individual variation across heritage speakers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the History of Ante(s): Exaptation of Adverbial –s?
Languages 2018, 3(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040045 -
Abstract
In this paper we will describe the historical development of the Spanish doublet ante-antes (‘before’) and explore the question whether a process of exaptation is involved (cf. Lass 1990). We will argue that the final –s of antes, that originally
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In this paper we will describe the historical development of the Spanish doublet ante-antes (‘before’) and explore the question whether a process of exaptation is involved (cf. Lass 1990). We will argue that the final –s of antes, that originally marked the adverbial status of the word, in the course of time had become a kind of morphological ‘junk’ (cf. Lass 1990) and, subsequently, could be exploited in order to encode the semantic opposition between temporal meaning on the one hand, and adversative meaning on the other hand. However, based on quantitative data we will show that the incipient semantic redistribution over the course of the 16th century rather suddenly collapsed, leading to a differentiation between the prepositional ante and adverbial antes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Indefinite Article + Possessive + Noun in Spanish: A Case of Refunctionalization?
Languages 2018, 3(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040044 -
Abstract
The phenomenon under discussion is an example of a grammatical change that can be explained by refunctionalization, and as such, can be understood as the acquisition of a new meaning by an ‘endangered’ grammatical construction, which is reassigned to express another value. Refunctionalization
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The phenomenon under discussion is an example of a grammatical change that can be explained by refunctionalization, and as such, can be understood as the acquisition of a new meaning by an ‘endangered’ grammatical construction, which is reassigned to express another value. Refunctionalization involves the development of a new function (in this case a syntactic-semantic one). When an item loses its function, or is marginal within a system, it can be lost (as happens with the construction under study in Standard Spanish), it can be ‘saved’ as a marginal element (as in some areas of American Spanish varieties) or it can be reused for other purposes (as in the Central American Spanish varieties). The latter case presents new discursive values. Hence, this construction should be understood as an example of reusing grammatical functionally opaque material for new purposes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Exaptation, Refunctionalization, Decapitalization—BE + Past Participle with Intransitive Verbs in Mediaeval and Early Modern Spanish
Languages 2018, 3(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040043 -
Abstract
The chapter presents the current state of research concerning the development of the BE + past participle constructions from Latin to Spanish. Starting from the description in Rosemeyer (2014) and the theoretical background collated in Kailuweit and Rosemeyer (2015), it will be shown
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The chapter presents the current state of research concerning the development of the BE + past participle constructions from Latin to Spanish. Starting from the description in Rosemeyer (2014) and the theoretical background collated in Kailuweit and Rosemeyer (2015), it will be shown that the functional change does not follow traditional grammaticalization paths. Several concepts that deal with cases contradicting traditional grammaticalization theory will be discussed. ‘Exaption’ (Lass 1990, 1997), focusing on total defunctionalization does not account for the fact that the resultative value of the BE + past participle construction, marginal in Latin, becomes central in Mediaeval Spanish. ‘Refunctionalization’ Smith (2008, 2011) captures this aspect in a more appropriate way. However, the development of the construction could be also conceived as the opposite of what Pountain (2000) describes as ‘capitalization’: a process of ‘decapitalization,’ by which a feature is exploited, not for wider, but for more restricted purposes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Acquisition of the Tap-Trill Contrast by L1 Mandarin–L2 English–L3 Spanish Speakers
Languages 2018, 3(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040042 -
Abstract
The goals of this study were to investigate the developmental patterns of acquisition of the Spanish tap and trill by L1 Mandarin–L2 English–L3 Spanish speakers, and to examine the extent to which the L1 and the L2 influenced the L3 productions. Twenty L1
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The goals of this study were to investigate the developmental patterns of acquisition of the Spanish tap and trill by L1 Mandarin–L2 English–L3 Spanish speakers, and to examine the extent to which the L1 and the L2 influenced the L3 productions. Twenty L1 Mandarin–L2 English–L3 Spanish speakers performed a reading task that elicited production of rhotics from the speakers’ L3 Spanish, L2 English, and L1 Mandarin, as well as the L2 English flap. The least proficient speakers produced a single substitution initially, generally [l]. The same non-target segment was produced for both rhotics, mirroring the results of previous studies investigating L1 English–L2 Spanish speakers, indicating that this may be a universal simplification strategy. In contrast to previous work on L1 English speakers, the L1 Mandarin–L2 English–L3 Spanish speakers who had acquired the tap did not tend to use it as the primary substitute for the trill. Overall, the L1 was a stronger source of cross-linguistic influence. Nonetheless, evidence of positive and negative L2 transfer was also found. The L2 flap allophone facilitated acquisition of the L3 tap, whereas non-target productions of the L2 /ɹ/ were also observed, revealing that both previously learned languages were possible sources of cross-linguistic influence. Full article
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Open AccessBook Review
Language Contact in Modern Uyghur. By Aminem Memtimin. Turcologica 108, Harrassowitz Verlag: Wiesbaden, Germany, 2016, 245p.; ISBN: 978-3-447-10631-3
Languages 2018, 3(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040041 -
Abstract
The study of language contact can be approached from different perspectives, such as in terms of diachronic development, synchronic variation, structural change, or social meanings. [...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Language Interaction in Emergent Grammars: Morphology and Word Order in Bilingual Children’s Code-Switching
Languages 2018, 3(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040040 -
Abstract
This paper examines the morphological integration of nouns in bilingual children’s code-switching to investigate whether children adhere to constraints posited for adult code-switching. The changing nature of grammars in development makes the Matrix Language Frame a moving target; permeability between languages in bilinguals
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This paper examines the morphological integration of nouns in bilingual children’s code-switching to investigate whether children adhere to constraints posited for adult code-switching. The changing nature of grammars in development makes the Matrix Language Frame a moving target; permeability between languages in bilinguals undermines the concept of a monolingual grammatical frame. The data analysed consist of 630 diary entries with code-switching and structural transfer from two children (aged 2;10–7;2 and 6;6–11;0) bilingual in Estonian and English, languages which differ in morphological richness and the inflectional role of stem changes. The data reveal code-switching with late system morphemes, variability in stem selection and word order incongruence. Constituent order is analysed in utterances with and without code-switching, and the frame is shown to draw sometimes on both languages, raising questions about the MLF, which is meant to derive from the grammar of one language. If clauses without code-switched elements display non-standard morpheme order, then there is no reason to expect code-switching to follow a standard order, nor is it reasonable to assume a monolingual target grammar. Complex morphological integration of code-switches and interaction between the two languages are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Refunctionalization and Usage Frequency: An Exploratory Questionnaire Study
Languages 2018, 3(4), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040039 -
Abstract
This paper explores the relationship between refunctionalization and usage frequency. In particular, it argues that (a) refunctionalization is more likely for low-frequency construction than high-frequency constructions, and that (b) high-frequency patterns are more likely candidates as models for refunctionalization processes than low-frequency patterns.
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This paper explores the relationship between refunctionalization and usage frequency. In particular, it argues that (a) refunctionalization is more likely for low-frequency construction than high-frequency constructions, and that (b) high-frequency patterns are more likely candidates as models for refunctionalization processes than low-frequency patterns. It proposes that folk etymology processes be characterized as a type of refunctionalization process because in folk etymology, obsolescent and semantically void morphemes are replaced with morphemes that actually serve a function in language. This assumption allows for an empirical investigation of refunctionalization using an exploratory questionnaire study. The results indicate that usage frequency indeed plays a role in folk etymology processes, and consequently, refunctionalization. In particular, participants were more likely to accept false etymologies when the proposed etymon had a high usage frequency than when it had a low usage frequency. In summary, the present study proposes a way to study refunctionalization processes in synchrony. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Auditory–Visual Speech Integration in Bipolar Disorder: A Preliminary Study
Languages 2018, 3(4), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3040038 -
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate how individuals with bipolar disorder integrate auditory and visual speech information compared to healthy individuals. Furthermore, we wanted to see whether there were any differences between manic and depressive episode bipolar disorder patients with respect to auditory and
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This study aimed to investigate how individuals with bipolar disorder integrate auditory and visual speech information compared to healthy individuals. Furthermore, we wanted to see whether there were any differences between manic and depressive episode bipolar disorder patients with respect to auditory and visual speech integration. It was hypothesized that the bipolar group’s auditory–visual speech integration would be weaker than that of the control group. Further, it was predicted that those in the manic phase of bipolar disorder would integrate visual speech information more robustly than their depressive phase counterparts. To examine these predictions, a McGurk effect paradigm with an identification task was used with typical auditory–visual (AV) speech stimuli. Additionally, auditory-only (AO) and visual-only (VO, lip-reading) speech perceptions were also tested. The dependent variable for the AV stimuli was the amount of visual speech influence. The dependent variables for AO and VO stimuli were accurate modality-based responses. Results showed that the disordered and control groups did not differ in AV speech integration and AO speech perception. However, there was a striking difference in favour of the healthy group with respect to the VO stimuli. The results suggest the need for further research whereby both behavioural and physiological data are collected simultaneously. This will help us understand the full dynamics of how auditory and visual speech information are integrated in people with bipolar disorder. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Non-Native Dialect Matters: The Perception of European and Brazilian Portuguese Vowels by Californian English Monolinguals and Spanish–English Bilinguals
Languages 2018, 3(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030037 -
Abstract
Studies show that second language (L2) learners’ perceptual patterns differ depending on their native dialect (e.g., Chládková and Podlipský 2011; Escudero and Williams 2012). Likewise, speakers from the same native language background show different perceptual patterns depending on the dialect to which they
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Studies show that second language (L2) learners’ perceptual patterns differ depending on their native dialect (e.g., Chládková and Podlipský 2011; Escudero and Williams 2012). Likewise, speakers from the same native language background show different perceptual patterns depending on the dialect to which they are exposed (e.g., Escudero and Boersma 2004; Escudero and Chládková 2010). The Second Language Linguistic Perception model (L2LP; Escudero 2005) accounts for these differences, explicitly stating that the acoustic similarity between the native and target dialect affects L2 perception. This study investigated whether Californian English monolingual and Spanish–English bilingual listeners differ in their perception of European Portuguese (EP) and Brazilian Portuguese (BP) vowels. Escudero et al. (2009a) showed that there were differences in the acoustic realization of vowels in BP and EP. Stressed vowels were longer in BP than in EP, with differences in vowel height observed for some vowels (e.g., /ɛ/ is higher in EP than in BP). According to the L2LP model, these acoustic differences between dialects will affect vowel perception; therefore, we predicted that there would be differences in the listeners’ perception of certain vowel contrasts in BP and EP. Participants completed a non-native categorization task and a discrimination task presented in the XAB format. The results from the non-native categorization task predicted differential vowel perception depending on both the dialect and vowel contrast that listeners heard, which were mostly confirmed with an interaction between dialect and contrast in the discrimination results. We contextualize these results with respect to models of L2 speech perception, highlighting that dialectal differences impact language perception and may influence later language learning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Teasing Apart the Effects of Dominance, Transfer, and Processing in Reference Production by German–Italian Bilingual Adolescents
Languages 2018, 3(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030036 -
Abstract
This paper intends to test different accounts of bilingual reference production against the production of referring expressions in Italian by German‒Italian bilingual adolescents. In particular, we investigate to what extent bilingual referring expressions involve transfer from one language to the other, result from
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This paper intends to test different accounts of bilingual reference production against the production of referring expressions in Italian by German‒Italian bilingual adolescents. In particular, we investigate to what extent bilingual referring expressions involve transfer from one language to the other, result from processing and dominance variables, and are the outcome of a process of language change. We will show that each of these hypotheses makes a precise prediction about which referential strategy bilinguals should adopt. The production of referring expressions is examined in the context of a story-telling task. Based on the analysis of overspecified forms, clitic omissions, and agreement mismatches, as well as on correlations with dominance factors, we argue in favor of the relevance of dominance and processing factors for bilingual reference production. Finally, we verify the possibility of generalizing our conclusions to a different linguistic domain, concerning the expression of word order in main clauses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bilingual Processing of Comparative Structures in Spanish
Languages 2018, 3(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030035 -
Abstract
Previous studies have focused on the access of content words to investigate the cognitive strategies used in bilingual processing (e.g., Fernández 2003), but less is known about functional words. In this study, I assess (i) whether three groups of bilingual speakers of Spanish
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Previous studies have focused on the access of content words to investigate the cognitive strategies used in bilingual processing (e.g., Fernández 2003), but less is known about functional words. In this study, I assess (i) whether three groups of bilingual speakers of Spanish (native, heritage, and second language (L2) speakers) access the lexically-encoded information of the quantifier más ‘more’ to activate a comparative structure interpretation, and (ii) what processing strategies are used to resolve a temporary semantic ambiguity that surfaces upon accessing that interpretation. Using a self-paced reading task, three groups of Spanish speakers living in the United States read comparative sentences, which allowed for two possible continuations at the subordinate clause: a subject continuation (e.g., El cantante obtiene más premios que el pianista en el festival ‘The singer gets more awards than the pianist at the festival’) or an object continuation (e.g., El cantante obtiene más premios que críticas en el festival ‘The singer gets more awards than criticism at the festival’). Results revealed longer reading times for the subject comparison compared to the object comparison structures, and no significant differences between the three groups, suggesting that participants in all groups followed similar processing strategies and preferences in the reading of comparative structures. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Patterns of Short-Term Phonetic Interference in Bilingual Speech
Languages 2018, 3(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030034 -
Abstract
Previous research indicates that alternating between a bilingual’s languages during speech production can lead to short-term increases in cross-language phonetic interaction. However, discrepancies exist between the reported L1–L2 effects in terms of direction and magnitude, and sometimes the effects are not found at
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Previous research indicates that alternating between a bilingual’s languages during speech production can lead to short-term increases in cross-language phonetic interaction. However, discrepancies exist between the reported L1–L2 effects in terms of direction and magnitude, and sometimes the effects are not found at all. The present study focused on L1 interference in L2, examining Voice Onset Time (VOT) of English voiceless stops produced by L1-dominant Czech-English bilinguals—interpreter trainees highly proficient in L2-English. We tested two hypotheses: (1) switching between languages induces an immediate increase in L1 interference during code-switching; and (2) due to global language co-activation, an increase in L1-to-L2 interference occurs when bilinguals interpret (translate) a message from L1 into L2 even if they do not produce L1 speech. Fourteen bilinguals uttered L2-English sentences under three conditions: L2-only, code-switching into L2, and interpreting into L2. Against expectation, the results showed that English VOT in the bilingual tasks tended to be longer and less Czech-like compared to the English-only task. This contradicts an earlier finding of L2 VOT converging temporarily towards L1 VOT values for comparable bilingual tasks performed by speakers from the same bilingual population. Participant-level inspection of our data suggests that besides language-background differences, individual language-switching strategies contribute to discrepancies between studies. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Lexical Development of Canadian-Born Romanian L1 Bilingual Kindergarteners
Languages 2018, 3(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030033 -
Abstract
This study charts the lexical development of three sequential bilingual kindergarteners whose first language, Romanian, was acquired naturalistically at home, and whose second language, English, was acquired in kindergarten. The children’s lexical development in English and Romanian was assessed at five different points
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This study charts the lexical development of three sequential bilingual kindergarteners whose first language, Romanian, was acquired naturalistically at home, and whose second language, English, was acquired in kindergarten. The children’s lexical development in English and Romanian was assessed at five different points over a two-year period via the PPVT-4 (peabody picture vocabulary test 4) and a specially adapted PPVT-4 for Romanian. The children’s lexical repertoires were further analyzed to uncover home versus school and cognate versus non-cognate acquisitional differences. In addition, because there is no database of lexical items acquired by monolingual Romanian children, the PPVT-4 adapted for Romanian was administered to 22 monolingual six-year-old Romanian children in Sibiu, Romania. The findings indicate the following: (i) the three bilinguals’ receptive vocabulary in English was below average when they joined kindergarten, and at or above average two years later; (ii) their lexical growth in Romanian was steady; (iii) the bilinguals’ scores for words belonging to a home register reflected ceiling effects in English and Romanian (i.e., were very well known); (iv) academic words were known to an equal extent in English and Romanian, but scores were lower than for the home register; and (v) there was no definitive evidence of cognate facilitation. A comparison of the monolingual and bilingual Romanian repertoires reflects the following: (i) equally high scores for home items; (ii) differences in scores in the academic register in favour of the Romanian monolinguals; and (iii) important lifestyle and cultural differences between the groups. The Romanian children, for example, were more familiar than their Canadian counterparts with items related to home maintenance, such as șmirghăluiește (‘sanding’) and mistrie (‘trowel’), or items probably learned in school, such as foca (‘walrus’) and broască țestoasă (‘tortoise’). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Brazilian Bimodal Bilinguals as Heritage Signers
Languages 2018, 3(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030032 -
Abstract
This paper presents an analysis of heritage signers: bimodal bilinguals, who are adult hearing children of Deaf parents who acquired sign language at home with their parents and the spoken language from the surrounding community. Analyzing heritage language with bimodal bilinguals who possess
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This paper presents an analysis of heritage signers: bimodal bilinguals, who are adult hearing children of Deaf parents who acquired sign language at home with their parents and the spoken language from the surrounding community. Analyzing heritage language with bimodal bilinguals who possess pairs of languages in different modalities provides a new kind of evidence for understanding the heritage language phenomenon as well as for theoretical issues regarding human language. Language production data were collected from four Brazilian bimodal bilinguals separately in both sign and speech, as well as from monolingual comparison Deaf signers and hearing speakers. The data were subsequently analyzed for various grammatical components. As with other types of heritage speakers, we observed a great degree of individual variation in the sign (heritage) language of balanced participants who patterned similarly to the monolingual signers, compared to those whose use of sign language differed greatly from monolinguals. One participant showed some weaknesses in the second (spoken) language. We approach the variation in language fluency in the two languages by considering the different contexts of language development and continuing use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mood Selection in Relative Clauses by French–Spanish Bilinguals: Contrasts and Similarities between L2 and Heritage Speakers
Languages 2018, 3(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030031 -
Abstract
In this paper, we explore three issues related to the acquisition of mood selection in Spanish relative clauses by second language (L2) and heritage (HL) speakers of Spanish: (1) whether HL speakers are more native-like than L2 learners; (2) whether the speakers’ performance
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In this paper, we explore three issues related to the acquisition of mood selection in Spanish relative clauses by second language (L2) and heritage (HL) speakers of Spanish: (1) whether HL speakers are more native-like than L2 learners; (2) whether the speakers’ performance differs depending on task modality (written vs. oral), since HL speakers are known to perform better in oral tasks and L2 learners tend to do better in written tasks; and (3) whether knowledge of French as an L1/dominant language (DL) has an impact on the acquisition of Spanish subjunctive, since both languages include this mood in their grammars, but it is used more productively in Spanish. Results from a sentence combination felicity task (SCFT) in Spanish—in written and oral forms—and a written elicited production task (EPT) in French, administered to advanced L2 and HL speakers of Spanish whose L1/DL is French and two monolingual (Spanish and French) control groups, revealed that L2 learners pattern more closely with the control group than HL speakers in the SCFT, both written and orally. In the EPT, all bilingual speakers display higher levels of subjunctive use than the control group, showing a potential influence from the L2/weaker language on the L1/DL. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Revisiting (Non-)Native Influence in VOT Production: Insights from Advanced L3 Spanish
Languages 2018, 3(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030030 -
Abstract
A growing body of research investigating cross-linguistic influence on the acquisition of a third phonological system suggests that first (L1) and second (L2) languages concur in influencing oral production in the target third language (L3). Yet, there are also claims of either a
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A growing body of research investigating cross-linguistic influence on the acquisition of a third phonological system suggests that first (L1) and second (L2) languages concur in influencing oral production in the target third language (L3). Yet, there are also claims of either a more noticeable effect of the L2 on the L3, or a prevailing influence from the L1. This study further explores whether the L1 and the L2 compete or converge on exerting influence on L3 pronunciation. To do so, we examine the production of voice onset time for voiceless stops by adult advanced learners of L3 Spanish divided into two groups (15 L1 English-L2 French, and 15 L1 French-L2 English speakers). Three monolingual control groups were also tested. Participants were recorded reading word lists that contained voiceless stops in stressed onset position. A Kruskal-Wallis test uncovered significant differences traceable to the L1-English speakers, which puts them at a slight disadvantage vis-à-vis their Francophone counterparts. These results favor claims of a more decisive role for the L1 in L3 pronunciation. We compare our results to findings from previous studies targeting intermediate learners, and find proficiency in the L3 may account for the observed differences. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
French Postverbal Subjects: A Comparison of Monolingual, Bilingual, Trilingual, and Multilingual French
Languages 2018, 3(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030029 -
Abstract
Monolingual French children have been observed to pass through a stage which is characterized by the production of target-deviant postverbal subjects of the following type (Jansen 2015, p. 272): est tombé Philippe ‘is fallen Philippe’ (Philippe, 2;2,10), écrit bien celui-là ‘writes well this
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Monolingual French children have been observed to pass through a stage which is characterized by the production of target-deviant postverbal subjects of the following type (Jansen 2015, p. 272): est tombé Philippe ‘is fallen Philippe’ (Philippe, 2;2,10), écrit bien celui-là ‘writes well this one’ (Philippe, 2;2,2) (De Cat 2002; Déprez and Pierce 1993; Ferdinand 1993, 1996; Friedemann [1993] 1994; Labelle and Valois 1996; Pierce 1989). Interestingly, bilingual children who acquire French together with German produce postverbal subjects to an extremely low degree in mean length of utterance (MLU)-phases compared with monolingual children (Jansen 2015). Arguably, they skip the postverbal subject phase and are accelerated with respect to monolingual children. In our study, we tested whether multilingualism can speed up the acquisition process in French. A production test with 62 multilingual children (starting at 2;7 acquiring two, three, or four L1s) was administered in Spain and Germany to elicit finite verbs and DP (Determiner Phrase) subjects in French. The children’s proficiency in French was measured on the basis of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) (Dunn et al. 1993). In comparison with monolinguals studied in the literature, the bilingual children and the children who acquired more than two languages were accelerated with respect to the placement of subjects in the postverbal position. Although the multilingual children who ranked low in the PPVT exhibited all kinds of structures as responses to the test items that are characteristic of early French, such as null-subjects, root infinites and bare nouns, they did not use postverbal subjects. The absence of postverbal subjects was observed not only in children who acquired either German (or English) at the same time as French, as did the bilingual children in Jansen’s (2015) study, but also in children who acquired, in addition to French, a Romance language like Spanish, Catalan, or Italian, all null-subject languages which allow postverbal subjects in the adult language. Following (Biberauer and Richards 2006), the extended projection principle (EPP) feature of T (Tense) can be satisfied in different ways across languages: if a DP is necessary, which it is in adult French, it can be raised from Spec,vP (specifier of vP, of the small-verb Phrase) to Spec,TP (specifier of Tense Phrase) (in which case the finite verb surfaces in T). This is the default of EPP satisfaction in T. It is this option which is facilitated and boosts the acquisition of the preverbal subject position in early bilingual, trilingual, and multilingual French. The result that the children who acquired a null-subject language such as Spanish also enjoyed an advantage in French, adult Spanish being a language that allows for postverbal subjects, indicates that it is plausible that the default character of DP-raising for EPP satisfaction, instantiated in all languages involved, is the reason for its high relevance in the early French of bilingual, trilingual, and multilingual children. If our analysis of the multilingual data is plausible, monolingual French children exhibit more variation in satisfying the EPP-feature (in T) than children who acquire one or more other languages in addition to French, an observation which goes back to (Meisel 1989). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Gender Assignment Strategies in Mixed Purepecha–Spanish Nominal Constructions
Languages 2018, 3(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030028 -
Abstract
Purepecha has no grammatical gender, whereas Spanish has a binary masculine–feminine system. In this paper we investigate how early sequential Purepecha–Spanish bilinguals assign gender to Purepecha nouns inserted into an otherwise Spanish utterance, using a director-matcher production task and an online forced-choice acceptability
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Purepecha has no grammatical gender, whereas Spanish has a binary masculine–feminine system. In this paper we investigate how early sequential Purepecha–Spanish bilinguals assign gender to Purepecha nouns inserted into an otherwise Spanish utterance, using a director-matcher production task and an online forced-choice acceptability judgement task. The results of the production task indicate a strong preference for masculine gender, irrespective of the gender of the noun’s translation equivalent, the so-called “masculine default” option. Participants in the comprehension task were influenced by the orthography of the Purepecha noun in the -a ending condition, leading them to assign feminine gender agreement to nouns that are masculine in Spanish, but preferred the masculine default strategy again in the -i/-u ending condition. The absence of the “analogical criterion” in both tasks contrasts with the results of some previous studies, underlining the need for more comparable data in terms of task type. Our results also highlight how task type can influence the choices speakers make, in this context, in terms of the choice of grammatical gender agreement strategy. Task type should therefore be carefully controlled in future studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Language Dominance, Verbal Fluency, and Language Control in two Groups of Russian–English Bilinguals
Languages 2018, 3(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030027 -
Abstract
This study explored language dominance, verbal fluency, and language control abilities of two groups of younger and older Russian–English bilinguals who had spent similar amounts of time as immigrants in the U.S. Verbal fluency tasks (based on letter and semantic cues, including a
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This study explored language dominance, verbal fluency, and language control abilities of two groups of younger and older Russian–English bilinguals who had spent similar amounts of time as immigrants in the U.S. Verbal fluency tasks (based on letter and semantic cues, including a new method to elicit parallel letter-fluency data for Russian and English) were used to measure the bilinguals’ current lexical retrieval skills in addition to self-assessments of language proficiencies at time of study and time of arrival. Stroop tasks (naming colors with incongruent cues) were used to measure younger and older bilinguals’ ability to control interference during color-naming. Findings demonstrate that the older immigrants were less fluent in L2 naming tasks and that they remained dominant (more proficient) in their L1 whereas the younger immigrants had become relatively balanced bilinguals in terms of proficiency, fluent in both the L1 and L2. Younger and older bilinguals were equally capable of controlling interference across and within the two languages. We propose that it is not balance in bilingual proficiency that positively affects language control abilities, but balance as stability of language systems. Stability of language systems can be achieved if bilingual usage patterns remain relatively constant over several years and if no radical changes in language learning and maintenance efforts are required. Full article
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