The Overt pronoun constraint across three dialects of Spanish

Carlos Gelormini-Lezama*, David Huepe, Eduar Herrera, Margherita Melloni, Facundo Manes, Adolfo M. García, Agustín Ibáñez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The overt pronoun constraint (OPC) states that, in null subject languages, overt pronoun subjects of embedded clauses cannot be bound by wh- or quantifier antecedents. Through the administration of two written questionnaires, we examined the OPC in 246 monolingual native speakers of three dialects of Spanish, spoken in Barranquilla (Colombia), Santiago (Chile), and Buenos Aires (Argentina). We tested separately the predictions that overt pronouns cannot be bound by wh- antecedents (Experiment 1) and that they cannot be bound by quantifier antecedents (Experiment 2). We found that the OPC was not operative in any of these dialects. In Experiment 1, the percentage of bound answers was approximately the same as the percentage of anaphoric answers. In Experiment 2, the percentage of bound answers was significantly higher than the percentage of anaphoric answers. Implications both for theories of pronoun resolution in null subject languages and for theories of first and second language acquisition are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-1000
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Erratum can be found in Journal of Psycholinguistic Research Volume 45(4), p1001, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10936-016-9435-1

Keywords

  • null subject languages
  • overt pronoun constraint
  • pronoun resolution
  • Spanish

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