The Acquisition of Anaphora Resolution by French-Spanish Bilinguals

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Title: The Acquisition of Anaphora Resolution by French-Spanish Bilinguals
Authors: Mathieu, Marie-Philip
Date: 2016
Abstract: This study investigates the division of labor between null and overt pronouns in Spanish. The Position of Antecedent Hypothesis (Carminati 2002) posits that null and overt pronouns in null-subject languages differ with respect to antecedent choice in ambiguous constructions. The objectives of this study are to determine i) to what extent native French speakers learning Spanish in adulthood can acquire the same interpretation bias as Spanish speakers, ii) if heritage speakers (HS) of Spanish who grow up in a French environment acquire the same interpretative strategies as native speakers, and iii) if the type of exposure to Spanish influences the extent to which HS and L2 speakers of Spanish acquire the PAH tendencies. Fifty-nine participants (10 HSs, 23 L1 French and 26 L1 Spanish speakers) filled a questionnaire on language background, and completed a written production task and a self-paced judgement task. Our results show that the French and HS’ answers were similar to those of the native speakers, except for the backward anaphora with the matrix subject as the antecedent of the overt pronoun. The French and HSs rated this type of sentence significantly higher than the native Speakers did, which suggests that while French speakers and HS might have acquired the bias for sentences with null pronouns, the bias might not be as strong for the anaphora with overt pronouns. Interestingly, the French speakers tend to be “better” than the HS at rating all sentences like the native speakers.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35190
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-148
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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