Second Language Acquisition

Past Projects:

(1) L2 Development of Syntactic Complexity (Dr. Stephen Fafulas in collaboration with Dr. Jason Killam and Dr. Kimberly Geeslin)

Employs a functional analysis to observe how linguistic complexity develops in interlanguage Spanish. Results to date show that low level learners use complexity (e.g. subordinated clauses) that mirrors the clause structures used in native English. However, as proficiency increases, the use of adjectival, nominal and adverbial clauses changes both in frequency and type in a non-linear pattern towards the Spanish norm.

(2) L2 Acquisition of Simple Present and Present Progressive forms (Dr. Stephen Fafulas)

Investigates the acquisition and variable use of simple present and present progressive verb forms by English-speaking learners of Spanish in the United States, as well as native speakers of Spanish from four dialect regions. This project is among the first to extend the analysis to ‘other’ types of progressive constructions (i.e. seguir, venir, ir, andar + V-ndo) which have received considerably less attention than the more frequent estar + V-ndo form.

(3) L2 Acquisition of Variable Structures (Dr. Stephen Fafulas in collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Geeslin and Matthew Kanwit)

Investigates how L2 learners acquire the variation of linguistic forms that are conditioned by linguistic, social and interactional factors.