Transferring strategies and the nature of transfer*

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I concentrate here on Adriana Belletti&#8217;s finding (2007, 2009a in particular) that different languages adopt different (but with a constrained variational pattern) strategies to answer the same question concerning the identification of the subject, and that answering strategies of the first language are characteristically transferred to a second language (Belletti &#38; Leonini 2004; Belletti, Bennati &#38; Sorace 2007). I outline a model in which transfer is an option occurring in the derivation when a formal property of a lexical item is not acquired. I assume that the acquisition of a lexical item functional structure and of its sound- meaning pair (Borer 2005) are dissociated, the latter preceding the former. I finally argue that transfer of strategies in L2 Italian is due to specific properties of <i>pro</i> not (yet) acquired.


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