Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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This paper reports the developmental stages of the acquisition of in stage-level predicate constructions in the L2 Spanish grammar of native speakers of French and Portuguese. Copular verbs exist in the L1s of both learner groups; however, only in Portuguese is there an aspectual contrast, with copula selection conditions that partially differ from those of and in Spanish. The study used data extracted from the Corpus de Aprendices de Español (CAES), made up of written texts produced by L2 Spanish learners from CEFR A1 to C1 levels. We attempt to analyse whether, and to what degree, these L2 learners are sensitive to copula restrictions in adjective constructions. Our analysis of the written production of 143 L1 French speakers and 361 L1 Portuguese speakers showed differing acquisitional patterns depending on the L1. We consider that the overextension, found in the learners’ productions, is related to the process of developing the ability to identify the specific features that distinguish the use of copular verbs in the interlanguage of our learners. Our findings, thus, provide a more fine-grained description of the semantic representation and access of interpretable features in L2 Spanish with special relevance to current hypotheses on Second Language Acquisition such as the (Lardiere 2009).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): copular verbs; estar; French; Portuguese; second language acquisition; ser; Spanish
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