This dissertation examines the second language acquisition of marking patterns with human animate direct objects in Spanish. While variation is claimed to exist among native speakers, empirical research exploring the linguistic variables which describe native speaker use of object marking through a systematic variationist analysis is non-existent. In the current interdisciplinary investigation, insights from the fields of second language acquisition, sociolinguistics and syntax are incorporated to study the roles definiteness, number and verb kinesis play in the characterization of object marking in the developing interlanguage system, comparing this system with native speakers. The study involved 124 native speakers and learners from four proficiency levels. An oral task, a written task and a word order task were completed to provide cross-sectional data through which learner development could be described. The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 18.0. Results showed that while the frequency of use among low intermediate to low advanced levels was well below native speaker norms, the semantic feature of definiteness described learner use across all levels. On the oral and written tasks, the high advanced learners showed marking rates similar to native speakers, but subtle differences related to the linguistic factors studied were found depending on the task. Observations from the final task, when compared to the oral task, show that acquisition of object marking does not coincide with the acquisition of alternate word order structures in which object marking is used. The current study lends support to the systematic analysis of language through the variationist framework in order to describe variation found among native speakers and learners of Spanish. It also provides evidence, against previous claims, that learners are capable of acquiring semantic features related to object marking.
|Advisor:||Geeslin, Kimberly L.|
|Commitee:||Clements, J. Clancy, Diaz-Campos, Manuel, Stringer, David|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Linguistics, Modern language, Foreign Language|
|Keywords:||Accusative a, Differential object marking, Marking patterns, Personal a, Second language acquisition, Spanish as a second language, Variation|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be