Expletives and Unaccusative Predicates in L2A
Common errors are examined and compared in the use of subject expletive it and the Spanish pronoun se with unaccusative predicates in the written production of advanced Spanish and American adult students of English and Spanish as a Foreign Language, respectively. They have in common not to respond to L1 surface transfer in the sense of not corresponding to a mere L2 relexification of L1 syntax. They rather involve a process of construction of the L2 grammar which results in similar structures in either interlanguage, different from both the L1 and the L2. The interlanguage of both groups, as reflected, in respective production data, is compared with respect to these structures. The hypothesis is proposed and developed that they originate in the interaction of Universal Grammar principles as well as both L1 and L2 influence in a restructuring process of the L1.
Key words: Expletive pronoun; Unaccusative predicates; English/Spanish as a foreign language; Interlanguage; Universal Grammar; L1 transfer
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