EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 8 (2008)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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This paper reports the results of an experimental study on the resolution of intra-sentential anaphora in Italian, by native Italian speakers and near-native Italian speakers whose L1 is Croatian. In a picture-selection task, the two groups of speakers had to identify the antecedents of third person null and overt subject pronouns in ambiguous forward and backward anaphora sentences and their unambiguous counterparts. In all contexts under investigation, near-natives expressed native-like antecedent preferences, indicating that they have acquired not only the syntactic, but also the discourse-pragmatic constraints on the realisation of pronominal subjects in Italian. Given that Croatian and Italian do not differ with respect to the licensing and distribution of pronominal forms, the results provide additional evidence for an account attributing the well-attested tendency of bilingual speakers of a null subject language and a non-null subject language to overuse and misinterpret overt subjects in the null subject language to crosslinguistic influence.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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