Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


New from Brill!

ad

Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'Transfer effects in the interpretation of definite articles by Spanish heritage speakers'
Author: SilvinaAMontrul
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: 'http://www.linguistics.illinois.edu/people/montrul'
Institution: 'University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign'
Author: TaniaIonin
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: 'http://www.linguistics.illinois.edu/people/tionin'
Institution: 'University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign'
Linguistic Field: 'Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics; Syntax'
Subject Language: 'English'
' Spanish'
Abstract: This study investigates the role of transfer from the stronger language by focusing on the interpretation of definite articles in Spanish and English by Spanish heritage speakers (i.e., minority language-speaking bilinguals) residing in the U.S., where English is the majority language. Spanish plural NPs with definite articles can express generic reference (Los elefantes tienen colmillos de marfil), or specific reference (Los elefantes de este zoológico son marrones). English plurals with definite articles can only have specific reference (The elephants in this zoo are brown), while generic reference is expressed with bare plural NPs (Elephants have ivory tusks). Furthermore, the Spanish definite article is preferred in inalienable possession constructions (Pedro levantó la mano “Peter raised the hand”), whereas in English the use of a definite article typically means that the body part belongs to somebody else (alienable possession). Twenty-three adult Spanish heritage speakers completed three tasks in Spanish (acceptability judgment, truth-value judgment, and picture–sentence matching tasks) and the same three tasks in English. Results show that the Spanish heritage speakers exhibited transfer from English into Spanish with the interpretation of definite articles in generic but not in inalienable possession contexts. Implications of this finding for the field of heritage language research and for theories of article semantics are discussed.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 13, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Back
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page