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Encoding discourse-based meaning: Syntax vs. Prosody. Implications for SLA. Maria Luisa Zubizarreta. USC (in collaboration with Emily Nava) Conference on Mind-Context Divide University of Iowa, April 30 th , 2009. The issue. English has more prosodic plasticity than Spanish.
Maria Luisa Zubizarreta. USC
(in collaboration with Emily Nava)
Conference on Mind-Context Divide
University of Iowa, April 30th, 2009
assigns Strong vs. Weak to sister nodes
(i) If A is a head and B is its argument, assign
S(trong) to B (specific-NSR).
(ii) Assign S(trong)to the rightmost
constituent node in the phrase.
(Zubizarreta 1998, Zubizarreta & Vergnaud 2005)
If L2ers have acquired the function of NS in Germanic, they should produce SV patterns in the case of unaccusative verbs to the same extent as native speakers (strong prediction).
If L2ers have acquired the function of NS in Germanic, they should produce significantly more SV than SV patterns in the case of unaccusative verbs, but not in the case of unergative verbs (weak prediction).
Native-like vs. Near-native-like.
Focused part of sentence must contain NPA.
Because I collect stamps. (75%)
Because I’m drawing pictures on the covers. (88%)
An actress was crying.
My friend called.
A boy broke his leg.
who arrived? arrived my friend
Who called? called María
Se rompio la pierna Maria.
broke the leg Maria
L1 English/L2 Spanish (Hertel 2003)
Beg. & Low Interm: SV order
High Interm & Advanced: increasing use of VS
English uses prosody where Spanish uses word order for:
Alignment of focus with NS
L1 Spanish/L2 English:
Syntax Prosody: very challenging (only 9 out of 27 cloze-based High Prof are near-native).
L1 English/L2 Spanish:
Prosody Syntax: successful (High proficiency as a group is native-like)
A-deaccenting & NS-Shift is relatively easy to
acquire, not only in narrow focus cases, but also in wide-focus cases:
Why are you buying that old stamp? Because I collect stamps.
Why are these notebooks missing their covers?
Because I’m drawing pictures on the covers
Same group of L1Spanish/L2 English:
Only 9 out of 27 High Prof. used Germanic NS to mark theticity above chance level.
16 out of 27 High Prof. learners and 3 Interm produced patterns involving “A-deaccenting & NS-Shift” in wide focus contexts above chance level (Nava & Zubizarreta in press).