Flexionar ou não flexionar, eis a questão: infinitivos no Português como segunda língua (L2)

Translated title of the contribution: To inflect or not to inflect is the question indeed: infinitives in second language (L2) Portuguese

Jason Rothman, Michael Iverson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In light of the predictions of two competing approaches to adult L2 acquisition – Full Access (FA) (e.g., White 1989, 2003; Schwartz & Sprouse 1996) and Failed Features (FF) (e.g., Hawkins & Chan 1997; Liceras & Díaz, 1999) – the present study examines the acquisition of inflected infinitives by English and Spanish/English bilingual adult learners of L2 Portuguese. Target-like acquisition of inflected infinitives requires the resetting of both a syntactic parameter (the Null Subject Parameter) and a morphological parameter (the Infl-parameter) for these learners. Since FF approaches maintain a post-critical period failure to acquire new L2 features lacking from the L1, target-like acquisition is predicted to not be possible. Conversely, FA approaches, which maintain adult parameter resetting is possible, predict that native-like competence of inflected infinitives is attainable, but not inevitably so. The data we present support FA approaches, demonstrating that advanced adult learners achieve native-like interpretative knowledge of Portuguese inflected infinitives. We also consider the role of L1 transfer and its possible implications, as they differ for both groups.
Translated title of the contributionTo inflect or not to inflect is the question indeed: infinitives in second language (L2) Portuguese
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)28-43
Number of pages16
JournalLetras de hoje
Volume46
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

First published in: The Journal of Portuguese Linguistics (2007) 6(2), 3-28.

Keywords

  • L2 acquisition
  • inflected infinitives
  • Null Subject Parameter

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