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Perez-Cortes, Silvia 
Acquiring obligatory and variable mood selection. Spanish Heritage Speakers and L2 Learners' Performance in Desideratives and Reported Speech Contexts 
Libro (en el caso de capítulos) - Revista (en el caso de artículos) 
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  New Jersey  2016  329 
Adquisición, gramática 
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This dissertation examines Spanish heritage speakers (HS) and second language (L2) learners? acquisition of obligatory and variable mood selection in two complement clauses: desideratives and reported speech contexts. Previous studies have reported this area of language to be particularly troublesome for early and late Spanish/English bilinguals, especially in variable contexts (Borgonovo, Bruhn de Garavito & Prévost, 2008; Collentine, 1993; Iverson, Kempchinsky & Rothman, 2008; Montrul, 2007, 2009, 2011; Pascual y Cabo, Lingwall and Rothman, 2012; Silva-Corvalán, 1994; Torres, 1989; inter alia). These investigations, however, have focused on structures that belonged to different modalities, comparing obligatory selection in deontic predicates with alternations in epistemic and epistemological contexts. This study interviewed 137 participants (HS: N=69; L2ers: N=68) with different proficiency levels using four experimental tasks: a truth-value judgment, two production tasks (written and oral), and an acceptability judgment task. Results show that mastery of mood selection is dependent on the interplay between participants? level of proficiency, age of onset and frequency of Spanish use. Highly proficient bilinguals tended to be more accurate in their performance, while those with lower command of the language displayed more variability. Differences in age of exposure and frequency of activation appeared at intermediate levels of proficiency, where HS outperformed their L2 peers in the interpretation and production of subjunctive in reported speech contexts. It is argued that earlier onset of acquisition and active use of Spanish favored the attainment of these structures. In general, the results suggest that the potential effects of vulnerability expected to emerge in mood alternations, appear to be minimized when propositional modality is controlled for. This dissertation contributes to the fields of L2 and heritage language acquisition in two ways. First, the comparison of these groups reveals contrasts at the interpretive and productive level, furthering our understanding on how differences in age of onset and exposure modulate bilinguals? linguistic outcomes. Second, the analysis of mood within deontic predicates also suggest that the source of morphological variability in these constructions is not the obligatoriness of the selection (as argued by Montrul, 2007, 2009) but the type of modality expressed by the predicate under evaluation. 
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