Transfer at the initial stages of L3 Brazilian Portuguese

a look at three groups of English/Spanish bilinguals

David Giancaspro, Becky Halloran*, Michael Iverson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    This study examines three formal linguistic acquisition models of third language (L3) acquisition in the context of Brazilian Portuguese (BP), specifically examining Differential Object Marking (DOM). The main goal is to determine which of the models is best able to predict and explain syntactic transfer in three experimental groups: mirror-image groups of first/second language (L1/L2) English/Spanish bilinguals (i) L1 English/L2 Spanish and (ii) L1 Spanish/L2 English, and (iii) heritage Spanish/English bilinguals. The data provide evidence to support the Typological Primacy Model (Rothman, 2010, 2011, 2013), which predicts Spanish transfer irrespective of its status as an L1, L2 or bilingual first language (2L1). Additionally, the heritage speaker and L1 English group results, taken together, provide evidence for Iverson's (2009) claim that comparing such populations adds independent supportive evidence that the acquisition of linguistic features or properties in an L2 acquired past puberty is not subject to a maturational critical period.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)191-207
    Number of pages17
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2015


    • Differential Object Marking
    • heritage acquisition
    • L3 acquisition
    • multilingualism
    • Portuguese
    • Spanish
    • transfer

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