Lexical frequency and subject expression in native and non-native Spanish

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This paper investigates the effect of lexical frequency on third-person subject form variation by native and highly-advanced non-native speakers of Spanish. In line with previous research, verb tokens which represented 1% or more of the total tokens were categorized as frequent whereas all others were categorized as infrequent. We also coded for six other linguistic variables: number, referent specificity, semantic class, morphological regularity, TMA, and switch reference. The findings revealed that lexical frequency did not have an independent effect on third-person subject form variation and in only one case did high lexical frequency appear to activate the effect of another linguistic factor. We discuss our results alongside findings of previous research and offer directions for future research.


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