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Does agreement affect the syntax of bare nominal subjects in Russian–Spanish bilinguals?

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Abstract

We analyze the effect of overt agreement marking on nouns in the acquisition of the syntactic constraints of bare nominals among L1 Russian learners of L2 Spanish. Gender is grammatically active in both Russian and Spanish, but nominals have a different structure and distribution. We posit that gender serves as a path for Russian learners to acquire the distribution and the structure of nominals in Spanish. The results of the present study show that L1 Russian speakers do acquire the overall DP structure in Spanish, and that overt agreement has some effect on the acquisition of bare NP constraints. Results are consistent with the representation of feminine as different from masculine.

References

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