This dissertation combines variationists and functional frameworks to examine the development of modal expressions in L2 Spanish. Using concept-oriented analysis, I examined the whole range of constructions that learners and native Spanish speakers (NSs) produced in volitive, dubitative, emotive, and assertive contexts. Additionally, I carried out variationist analysis to uncover the variation patterns in the learners’ productions and selections of verbal moods. Furthermore, I conducted functionalist analysis (i.e., function-to-form and form-to-function analyses) to examine the specific temporal forms that learners and NSs produced in the modal contexts under study.
The study had six tasks: an oral role-play, an oral sentence-completing task, a contextualized written questionnaire, a proficiency test, and two background questionnaires (one for non-native speakers, and one for NS). There were six participants groups: five learners’ groups (from the fourth semester onwards) and a group of NSs.
The concept-oriented analysis revealed that learners and native Spanish speakers produced a wide range of constructions to express modal meanings. Results also showed constructional variation, conditioned by semantic and syntactic factors. Additionally, the multivariate analyses showed that several linguistic and extra-linguistic factors influenced the production and selection of the subjunctive mood in all the participants’ groups. The most important predictor was the semantic category of the matrix verb since it showed an early and consistent effect throughout the different proficiency levels and across tasks. It follows that subjunctive develops within volitive expressions and then spreads to the other modal meanings examined. The expansion of the subjunctive in volitive contexts is characterized by variation, and it concludes with near-categorical use of the subjunctive in the advanced learner group. Finally, subjunctive temporal forms develop slowly. The present subjunctive is virtually the only subjunctive form used in the lower proficiency levels. However, in the course of acquisition, learners gradually expand their inventory of subjunctive forms. The development of the subjunctive temporal forms is characterized by the sequential emergence of new subjunctive periphrastic forms, which occur in the data only after the analogous indicative periphrastic forms have emerged. I conclude that the development of new indicative forms promotes the development and expansion of the subjunctive paradigm in interlanguage.
Generally, the results contribute to the knowledge of the acquisition and development of tense-mood-aspect phenomena in SLA contexts.
|Advisor:||Geeslin, Kimberly L.|
|Commitee:||Clements, J. Clancy, Díaz-Campos, Manuel, Willis, Erik W.|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Linguistics, Foreign language education, Sociolinguistics, Bilingual education|
|Keywords:||L2 variation, Mood, Second language acquisition, Spanish, Subjunctive, Non-native speakers|
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