The Acquisition of Differential Object Marking in Spanish by Turkish speakers

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The obligatory use of the preposition &#8216;<i>a&#8217;</i> with animate, specific direct objects in Spanish (<i>Juan conoce </i>a<i> Mar&#237;a</i> &#8216;Juan knows Maria&#8217;) is a well-known instance of Differential Object Marking (DOM). This study investigates the acquisition of DOM in Spanish by native speakers of Turkish, a language that exemplifies DOM on the basis of case marking. Twenty native speakers of Spanish and 32 Turkish-speaking learners of Spanish completed a written production, a written comprehension, and a bimodal acceptability judgment task. Our results show that Turkish learners of Spanish are quite successful at acquiring feature specification and distribution of DOM even at low levels of proficiency. Keywords: Differential object marking; Turkish; Spanish, case; L2 acquisition


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