EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 11 (2011)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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Assuming transfer of the L1 grammar, in the present study the question of whether all parameters can be reset even with access to UG is examined in light of the subset/superset relationship. Specifically, the resetting of the Null Subject Parameter (NSP) in L2 learners of English (L1 Spanish) is investigated by means of examining the application of the Overt Pronoun Constraint (Montalbetti 1984), a property that clusters with the null subject setting only, as well as acceptance/rejection of null subjects in English. Since English does not syntactically license empty subjects, but Spanish does, the two languages are in a subset/superset relationship such that Spanish is the superset grammar. Therefore, the results stand to shed light on the validity of the Subset Principle (Berwick 1982; Manzini and Wexler 1987; Wexler and Manzini 1987) and its learnability constraints applied to second language acquisition (SLA) where transfer might impede convergence on the narrow syntactic property despite full access to Universal Grammar.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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