Laurie A. Massery
Gilian Lord
Editorial/Institución editora: 
University of Florida
Estados Unidos
Tipo de publicación: 
Tipo de tesis: 
Tesis doctorales
If you ask students taking Spanish as a foreign language which grammar point they find most challenging, many of them will probably say the subjunctive. This may be because the more common use of the subjunctive in English is captured by non-subjunctive structures like infinitival or null CP [+indicative] structures. From a generative perspective, the present study investigates second language (L2) syntactic and semantic development of the Spanish subjunctive at the University level. The results of the study reveal that learners at all levels of instruction continued to transfer first language (L1) syntactic rules of English irrealis to L2 structures during acquisition.

For this study, a total of 160 English-speaking learners studying Spanish as a second language were recruited. Magnitude Estimation (ME) was used to gage learners’ syntactic intuitions about the Spanish subjunctive by requiring them to analyze a series of structures in L2. We found that in their judgment of the sentences, learners transferred the [+ optional] overt CP rule in English to Spanish. In addition to these syntactic analyses, we used a guided production task which measured learners’ semantic performance as well. The data showed that learners were less successful at identifying epistemic modality (+/- reality, existence, etc.) in nominal clauses, as sentences using deontic modality (+/- obligation, desire, influence, etc.) received substantially higher scores.

The data were also analyzed in terms of learnability and second language grammatical capabilities as well as in terms of implications for the L2 classroom. The pedagogical implications of this study include the need to capitalize on learners’ ability to access functional categories in nominal clauses and make the [-optional] overt CP rule in Spanish more salient to learners.
Correo electrónico: 
Fecha de publicación: 
Lunes, 30 enero, 2017
30/01/2017 Publicaciones