This paper studies properties at the syntax-discourse interface, which have proved problematic in different bilingual domains. The focus is on pronominal anaphora resolution in a null subject language, specifically Italian, by Croatian-Italian simultaneous bilinguals. Based on the results of previous studies, we hypothesised that these bilinguals would not accept Italian overt subject pronouns referring to topical antecedents more often than age-matched Italian monolinguals and that they would interpret null subject pronouns in a native-like way. These hypotheses were confirmed, providing support for the representational account of interface instability, according to which difficulties with interface structures, often experienced by bilingual speakers, result from cross-linguistic influence, and not from bilinguals’ less-than-optimal processing abilities.

Anaphora resolution in Italian by Croatian-Italian simultaneous bilinguals

Maja Miličević Petrović
2019

Abstract

This paper studies properties at the syntax-discourse interface, which have proved problematic in different bilingual domains. The focus is on pronominal anaphora resolution in a null subject language, specifically Italian, by Croatian-Italian simultaneous bilinguals. Based on the results of previous studies, we hypothesised that these bilinguals would not accept Italian overt subject pronouns referring to topical antecedents more often than age-matched Italian monolinguals and that they would interpret null subject pronouns in a native-like way. These hypotheses were confirmed, providing support for the representational account of interface instability, according to which difficulties with interface structures, often experienced by bilingual speakers, result from cross-linguistic influence, and not from bilinguals’ less-than-optimal processing abilities.
Explorations in Second Language Acquisition and Processing
81
93
Tihana Kraš; Maja Miličević Petrović
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/775401
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