Second Language Acquisition

(1) L2 Development of Syntactic Complexity (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.

Presentations:
  • Killam, Jason and Stephen Fafulas. “An Exploration of the Acquisition of Complex Syntax in L2 Spanish.” Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT). Washington, D.C. March 14, 2014.

(2) L2 Acquisition of Simple Present and Present Progressive forms

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.

Presentations:
  • Fafulas, Stephen. “Cross-linguistic, learner, and individual differences in the expression of progressive aspect.” 81st meeting of the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL). North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. March 28, 2014.
  • Fafulas, Stephen. “Multifunctionality and Layering in First and Second Language Grammars: Acquisition and Use of Simple Present and Present Progressive forms in Spanish & English.” Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT). Washington, D.C. March 16, 2014.