EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 10 (2010)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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This paper investigates the knowledge of two unaccusative diagnostics in ­Italian, auxiliary selection and ne cliticisation, in child L2 grammars of L1 Croatian speakers. The two phenomena are not instantiated in Croatian. Following ­Sorace (2000), it is assumed in the paper that the lexical-semantic aspect of these phenomena is characterised by gradience that can be captured by the Auxiliary Selection Hierarchy. Findings are reported of an experimental study in which highly proficient child L2 learners and their monolingual peers rated the acceptability of two Italian auxiliaries and ne-cliticisation with different lexical-semantic classes of intransitives by using the Magnitude Estimation technique. The learners’ judgements largely converged on those of the native speakers, suggesting that the two phenomena had been acquired in the L2. Such findings support the hypothesis predicting complete L2 acquisition of properties pertaining to an interface between two domains within the language factory (the so-called internal interfaces), in this case syntax and the lexicon.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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