Article published in:Language Acquisition Beyond Parameters: Studies in honour of Juana M. Liceras
Edited by Anahí Alba de la Fuente, Elena Valenzuela and Cristina Martínez Sanz
[Studies in Bilingualism 51] 2016
► pp. 125–145
Not just algunos, but indeed unos L2ers can acquire scalar implicatures in L2 Spanish
This study examines interpretation of scalar implicatures (SI) in the L2 Spanish of native English advanced learners. Spanish is especially interesting since, unlike English, it has two indefinite determiners, unos and algunos, which ostensibly map to English some. However, each does not allow an implicature like English some. The complexity of the Spanish system is predicted to make Spanish particularly challenging. We present data from a Video Acceptability Judgment experiment where the subset – whole set distinction is applied to algunos/unos. The videos contain sets of 4 participants, in which 0, 3 or all 4 engage in an action. Test sentences are presented after the video clips in four target conditions: (a) algunos with 4 out of 4 (4/4) video, (b) algunos with 3 out of 4 (3/4) video, (c) unos with 4/4 video and (d) unos with 3/4 video. Judgments on the 4/4 video conditions, especially the algunos condition, indicate whether implicatures are projected or not. If participants are sensitive to the idiosyncratic restrictions on algunos for implicatures, one expects to find a distinction between algunos and unos in the 4/4 condition, and between 4/4 versus 3/4 conditions with algunos. Both participant groups (native speakers and advanced L2ers) perform the experiment similarly. Both groups make the two relevant distinctions to the same degree.
Keywords: scalar, implicature, ,
Published online: 16 December 2016
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