This chapter focuses on the mental representation of mood in Spanish heritage speakers (2nd generation immigrants of Spanish background living in the US). A variety of studies have amply documented the loss and/or incomplete acquisition of subjunctive mood in these speakers (Merino 1983, Lipski 1993, Silva-Corvalán 1994, 2003; Lynch 1999). These studies analyzed production data and showed that subjunctive morphology is replaced by indicative in cases where the use of subjunctive or indicative is variable and subject to different semantic or pragmatic implications. The goal of this study is to gobeyond production of morphological forms and probe into theinterpretations bilinguals assign to sentences with indicative and subjunctive in obligatory and variable contexts. The study assumes the theoretical framework of generative grammar by which mood is represented as a functional category MoodP in Spanish. Subjunctive morphology carries the feature [+ MOOD], which are crucial for the interpretation of the morphology. We know that bilinguals have difficulty producing subjunctive morphology in speech. If MoodP is absent from the bilinguals' grammars, then they should have difficulty with the interpretation of mood morphology as well. Monolingual and bilingual heritage Spanish speakers completed a task testing recognition of subjunctive in obligatory contexts and a judgment task which tested interpretation of subjunctive in variable contexts. The task tested relative clauses, and adverbial clauses withcuando and withde manera que. Results showed a correlation between recognition of indicative/subjunctive morphology and semantic interpretations. Those bilinguals whose apparent loss of Spanish subjunctive mood was most pronounced in the morphological recognition task had difficulty discriminating between indicative and subjunctive sentences in the sentence conjunction judgment task, suggesting that the feature [+ MOOD] was not operational. In short, it appears that the loss of a functional category involves loss of morphophonology and semantic features.
2022. Transfer in L3 cognate language acquisition: The role of language background on instructed L3 Portuguese acquisition
. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching 60:2 ► pp. 143 ff.
2007. Heritage speaker competence differences, language change, and input type: Inflected infinitives in Heritage Brazilian Portuguese. International Journal of Bilingualism 11:4 ► pp. 359 ff.
2009. Understanding the nature and outcomes of early bilingualism: Romance languages as heritage languages. International Journal of Bilingualism 13:2 ► pp. 155 ff.
Rothman, Jason & Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes
2012. Linguistic interfaces and language acquisition in childhood: Introduction to the special issue. First Language 32:1-2 ► pp. 3 ff.
2023. The epistemic future in exported grammars: a comparison between two Italo-Romance speech communities. Romanistisches Jahrbuch 74:1 ► pp. 106 ff.
van Osch, Brechje & Petra Sleeman
2018. Spanish heritage speakers in the Netherlands: Linguistic patterns in the judgment and production of mood. International Journal of Bilingualism 22:5 ► pp. 513 ff.
2017. Mood variation after expressions of uncertainty in Spanish. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 10:2 ► pp. 349 ff.
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