image of Frequency effects and aspect morphology with state verbs in heritage Spanish
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A total of 54 HS and 17 Spanish-dominant participants completed an elicited production task (EPT) and a forced choice task (FCT) to explore how proficiency, frequency of use, age of acquisition of English, morphological regularity, and lexical frequency affected their production and selection of preterit morphology with states. Results showed that HS’ production of preterit with states was negatively correlated with lexical frequency, such that these bilinguals were more likely to use the preterit with less-frequent verbs. Higher-proficiency speakers were less susceptible to the effects of lexical frequency in production. In contrast, proficiency modulated HS’ responses in the FCT. HS were more likely to select the preterit in the FCT than to produce it in the EPT. Together, these results support theories of heritage language acquisition that emphasize the role of activation of linguistic features and asymmetries between production and comprehension.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: aspect ; Spanish as a heritage language ; lexical frequency
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