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Cover for The Role of Discourse Context and Verb Class in Native and Non-Native Spanish Postverbal Subjects
dc.contributor.advisorCampos, Héctoren
dc.contributor.advisorLardiere, Donnaen
dc.creatoren
dc.date.accessioned2017-01-09T20:14:16Zen
dc.date.available2017-01-09T20:14:16Zen
dc.date.created2016en
dc.date.issueden
dc.date.submitted01/01/2016en
dc.identifier.otherAPT-BAG: georgetown.edu.10822_1042948.tar;APT-ETAG: 9a51004f1208dbb9e99a3d36ed271b62; APT-DATE: 2017-10-26_16:03:24en-US
dc.identifier.urien
dc.descriptionPh.D.en
dc.description.abstractRecent research on the second language (L2) acquisition of postverbal subjects in Spanish has focused on the important role of discourse context in licensing postverbal subjects with unaccusative and unergative verbs (Hertel, 2003; Lozano, 2006; Domínguez & Arche, 2008; Domínguez, 2013). While these studies have made important advances in early L2 research within the generative framework, in which the structure was studied as a part of the pro-drop parameter (White, 1985; 1986, Liceras, 1988; 1989), they only examine intransitive verbs, do not consider the role of nuclear stress, and do not compare postverbal subject use across discourse contexts nor include contrastive focus as a discourse context. These shortcomings have led to variable performance by the native speaker controls, which make any claims of native or non-native like performance on the part of L2 learners questionable. This dissertation uses empirical data to incorporate discourse context, verb type, and nuclear stress into one experiment examining postverbal subjects in Spanish by native speakers and English-speaking L2 learners. A multi-componential experiment was conducted, consisting of two oral assessment tasks, in order to gauge native speakers’ and L2 learners’ ability to produce and rate sentences with postverbal subjects compared to those with preverbal subjects. It considers three discourse contexts: wide, narrow, and contrastive focus, four verb types: unaccusative, unergative, transitive, and ditransitive verbs, and transitive verbs with topicalized objects. Ninety-five L2 learners from four proficiency levels and thirty-seven native speaker controls completed the study. Results show that for the contexts in which native speakers most frequently use postverbal subjects, namely with topicalized objects and in contrastive focus, L2 learners from low through advanced proficiency can also use postverbal subjects, and knowledge of postverbal subjects increases significantly with proficiency. The optionality of pre- and postverbal subjects in narrow and contrastive focus is explained syntactically by positing a null pro[FOC] that can optionally be used in the numeration along with the lexical subject when it bears matching agreement and focus features. The Feature Reassembly Hypothesis (Lardiere, 2008; 2009) can explain L2 behavior by positing difficulty in reassembling the features from one lexical item in English, the lexical subject, to two lexical items in Spanish, the lexical subject and pro[FOC].en
dc.formatPDFen
dc.format.extent353 leavesen
dc.languageenen
dc.publisherGeorgetown Universityen
dc.sourceGeorgetown University-Graduate School of Arts & Sciencesen
dc.sourceSpanish & Portugueseen
dc.subjectApplied Linguisticsen
dc.subjectDiscourseen
dc.subjectSecond Language Acquisitionen
dc.subjectSyntaxen
dc.subject.lcshLinguisticsen
dc.subject.lcshLanguage and languages -- Study and teachingen
dc.subject.lcshLanguage and cultureen
dc.subject.otherLinguisticsen
dc.subject.otherForeign language educationen
dc.subject.otherLanguageen
dc.titleThe Role of Discourse Context and Verb Class in Native and Non-Native Spanish Postverbal Subjectsen
dc.typethesisen
dc.identifier.orcid0000-0001-5506-9150en


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