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Eventive and stative passives and copula selection in Canadian and American Heritage Speaker Spanish

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Abstract

Spanish captures the difference between eventive and stative passives via anobligatory choice between two copula; verbal passives take the copula ser andadjectival passives take the copula estar. In this study, we compare and contrastUS and Canadian heritage speakers of Spanish on their knowledge ofthis difference in relation to copula choice in Spanish. The backgrounds of thetarget groups differ significantly from each other in that only one of them, theCanadian group, has grown up in a societal multilingual environment. We discussthe results as being supportive of two non-mutually exclusive explanationfactors: (a) French facilitates (bootstraps) the acquisition of eventive and stativepassives and/or (b) the US/Canadian HS differences (e.g. status of bilingualismand the languages at stake) is a reflection of the uniqueness of the languagecontact situations and the effects this has on the input HSs receive.

References

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