Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study examines argument structure overgeneralizations among heritage speakers of Spanish who exhibit varying degrees of proficiency in the heritage language. Two questions motivated the design of the study: (1) Do heritage speakers differ from native speakers in their acceptance of causative errors? And if so, (2) which classes of verbs are most susceptible to this overgeneralization? A sentence acceptability task targeting two verb classes (unaccusatives and unergatives) was administered to 58 heritage speakers and a comparison group (n = 22) of monolingually-raised native speakers of Spanish. The results confirm that heritage speakers, in contrast to native speakers, accept causative errors with a variety of intransitive verbs. Unaccusative verbs are more readily accepted in transitive frames than unergatives for all groups. Acceptance rates for individual verbs are a function of the particular verb’s compatibility with external causation as well as the possibility of being transitive in English.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): argument structure; causative errors; heritage speakers
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error