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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Spanish gender agreement under complete and incomplete acquisition: Early and late bilinguals' linguistic behavior within the noun phrase
Author: Irma Verónica Alarcón
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Wake Forest University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The present study explores knowledge of Spanish grammatical gender in both comprehension and production by heritage language speakers and second language (L2) learners, with native Spanish speakers as a baseline. Most L2 research has tended to interpret morphosyntactic variability in interlanguage production, such as errors in gender agreement, as a lack of native-like representation in the learner's grammar because of maturational constraints. From this perspective, adult English-speaking learners of Spanish are incapable of acquiring gender fully, whereas heritage Spanish speakers, who have been exposed to the language from birth, can attain complete gender acquisition. However, results of two tasks, one measuring written comprehension and the other oral production, show that advanced proficiency L2 learners, as well as advanced proficiency heritage speakers, have gender in their underlying grammars, and that the errors in oral production that L2 learners occasionally produce are due to difficulties in the surface manifestations of the abstract features of gender, i.e., the “mapping problem” (Lardiere, 2007).


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 14, Issue 3.

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