Clitic doubling and clitic left dislocation in Spanish and Greek L2 grammars

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Morphological properties in L2 acquisition have a prominent role in the current research agenda, particularly with respect to the optionality observed and what this tells us about learners’ representations. Some authors (Smith and Tsimpli 1995, Hawkins and Chan 1997, Hawkins and Franceschina 2004, among others) argue for representational deficits in learners’ systems, particularly with respect to uninterpretable features. Clitics, as manifestations of agreement and bearers of uninterpretable features, offer a promising testing ground. This paper contributes to the debate by observing clitic doubling and clitic left dislocation in L2 Spanish and Greek when English is the L1. Differences in morphological richness and in the properties of their pronominal systems allow us to test how learners interpret clitics in the L2.


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