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International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

Ed. by Jordens, Peter / Roberts, Leah

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Volume 48, Issue 1


The status of the auxiliary do in L1 and L2 English negative clauses

Susana Perales
Published Online: 2010-03-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral.2010.001


This paper addresses the issue of whether negative sentences containing auxiliary do in L1 and L2 English share the same underlying syntactic representation. To this end, I compare the negative sentences produced by 77 bilingual (Spanish/Basque)L2 learners of English with the corresponding data available for L1 acquirers reported on in Schütze (Carson, The status of he/she don't and theories of root infinitives, 2001), under the assumption that L1 and L2 grammars may be underspecified for Tense and/or Agreement features. I conclude that, despite similarities in the type of errors children and L2 learners produce, the L2 data do not show evidence of underspecification. Rather, it appears that L2 learners use a lexical strategy whereby they adopt don't as an independent preverbal negative marker.

About the article

Published Online: 2010-03-19

Published in Print: 2010-03-01

Citation Information: IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, Volume 48, Issue 1, Pages 1–23, ISSN (Online) 1613-4141, ISSN (Print) 0019-042X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral.2010.001.

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