LINGUIST List 13.966

Mon Apr 8 2002

Diss: Applied Ling: Geeslin "SLA of Copula Choice..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <karolinalinguistlist.org>


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  1. kgeeslin, Applied Ling: Geeslin "The SLA of Copula Choice in Spanish"

Message 1: Applied Ling: Geeslin "The SLA of Copula Choice in Spanish"

Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2002 16:43:42 +0000
From: kgeeslin <kgeeslinindiana.edu>
Subject: Applied Ling: Geeslin "The SLA of Copula Choice in Spanish"


New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Arizona
Program: Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Program
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1999

Author: Kimberly L Geeslin 

Dissertation Title: 
The Second Language Acquisition of Copula Choice in Spanish and Its
Relationship to Language Change

Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics

Subject Language: Spanish

Dissertation Director 1: Rudolph Troike


Dissertation Abstract: 

While many linguists point to the value of using data from second
language acquisition (SLA) to explore theories of language change, few
conduct work in this area. The primary objective of this dissertation
is to bridge the gap between these fields by examining the SLA of
copula choice before adjectives in Spanish. Historically, the copulas
'ser' and 'estar' have been in competition as the latter has been
adopted in new contexts with a wider variety of adjectives. Current
sociolinguistic research shows that this change has been accelerated
by contact with English (Silva-Corvalan, 1986) but that the change
itself was already present in Mexico where contact with English is
unlikely (Gutierrez, 1992). Gutierrez (1992) identifies classes of
adjectives which appear to undergo change first, and based on his
findings, makes predictions about the direction of future changes.

The classification scheme which enabled Gutierrez (1992) to show how
the extension of 'estar' progressed also allows for a new approach to
classification of SLA data. Previous studies on the SLA of 'ser' and
'estar' (Ryan and Lafford, 1992, Briscoe, 1995) have focused on stages
of acquisition, but not within the context 'copula + adjective'. By
using data from conversations, picture descriptions and contextualized
judgment tasks with English speaking high school students of Spanish
at various proficiency levels, the predictions in Gutierrez (1992) can
be tested on the order of SLA of the copula + adjective structure. In
so doing, the results are expected to shed light on the relationship
between SLA and language change.




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