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Selectivity in L1 attrition: Differential object marking in Spanish near-native speakers of English

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-715
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Volume45
Issue number3
Early online date3 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Abstract

Previous research has shown L1 attrition to be restricted to structures at the interfaces between syntax and pragmatics, but not to occur with syntactic properties that do not involve such interfaces (‘Interface Hypothesis’, Sorace and Filiaci 2006). The present study tested possible L1 attrition effects on a syntax-semantics interface structure (Differential Object Marking using the Spanish personal preposition) as well as the effects of recent L1 re-exposure on the potential attrition of these structures, using offline and eye-tracking measures. Participants included a group of native Spanish speakers experiencing attrition (‘attriters’), a second group of attriters exposed exclusively to Spanish before they were tested, and a control group of Spanish monolinguals. The eyetracking results showed very early sensitivity to DOM violations, which was of an equal magnitude across all groups. The off-line results also showed an equal sensitivity across groups. These results reveal that structures involving ‘internal’ interfaces like the DOM do not undergo attrition either at the processing or representational level.

    Research areas

  • L1 attrition, L1 re-exposure, eye-tracking, Differential Object Marking, Spanish

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