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Title: The Second Language Acquisition of Spanish Gender Agreement
Subtitle: The Effects of Linguistic Variables on Accuracy
Written By: Irma Verónica Alarcón
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Second Language Acquisition 18

This study examines gender agreement between a complex sentential subject
(containing two nouns) and a predicate adjective in second language
Spanish. The data were collected using a computerized sentence completion
task that measured gender agreement accuracy (correct or incorrect). Seven
binary linguistic variables were analyzed: noun class of the head and
attractor nouns (semantic or non-semantic), head noun morphology (overt or
non-overt), gender of the head and attractor nouns (feminine or masculine),
and noun class and gender congruencies (matched or mismatched). All
possible combinations of the variables were considered.

To date, no study has examined all of these variables in a single
experimental design assessing the second language acquisition of Spanish
gender agreement. Participants were learners at three different levels of
proficiency, and Spanish native speakers. Grammar and vocabulary knowledge
were also examined as independent variables. Findings reveal that noun
class does not affect accuracy of gender agreement. In contrast, both
learners and native speakers are sensitive to the gender and morphology of
the head noun, and gender congruency: participants were more accurate when
the head noun was masculine and overtly marked for gender, and when the two
subject nouns were of the same gender.

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Language Acquisition
Subject Language(s): Spanish
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Format: Loose Leaf
ISBN: 3895863505
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 140
Prices: Europe EURO 52