Verb deletion in English conjunct sentences
What is it about?
In English, verb deletion in conjunct sentences (e.g. John slept and Mary will ___ too) does not always require that the antecedent verb (slept) and deleted verb (sleep) be identical. However, there are conditions where they must be identical (e.g. John will be here and Mary will ___too vs. *John is here and Mary will___ too). This study tested how non-native Saudi Arabic speakers of English could learn the conditions under which verb deletion is possible and impossible in English. The results from an acceptability judgment task showed that they managed to learn some of the conditions but not all of them. The conditions that proved more problematic related to sentences with participle auxiliaries (e.g. * John slept and Mary was ___too vs. Peter saw your parents last week but he hasn't ___since). In a generative approach to the study of non-native second language acquisition, the study offers an account of selective success.
Why is it important?
The study offers a linguistic account of what could be challenging to master in non-native second language acquisition even among highly proficient speakers. A crucial finding is that selective success cannot be explained without considering feature interpretability.
The following have contributed to this page: Kholoud Al-Thubaiti