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This study investigates the written production of direct object (DO) anaphora in L2 Spanish by adult English native speakers. It focuses on the use of clitics and full DPs in topic continuity, where highly salient topics are typically recovered by clitics in native Spanish. A combination of pragmatic factors in subject anaphora resolution (referential ambiguity and distance) and morphosyntactic factors in the acquisition of clitics (gender and animacy) was analyzed in 5 subcorpora from the CEDEL2 (. Following Learner Corpus Research methodology, 773 anaphoric DOs and their antecedents were tagged across 150 texts (from low-intermediate to upper-advanced proficiency). Results showed that as learner proficiency increases, the predominant anaphoric strategy shifts from redundant DP overuse to felicitous pronominalization. Clitic avoidance is the general strategy intimately related to clitics’ morphosyntactic deficits at advanced levels, but also to pragmatic principles supporting the Pragmatic Principles Violation Hypothesis ( ).


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