Primary and secondary effects of processing instruction on Spanish clitic pronouns

Justin White 1
  • 1 Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA


This study investigates the effects of token item frequency in Structured Input activities on both a primary target form (Spanish accusative clitics) and a secondary target form (Spanish dative clitics). Participants included 460 adult learners enrolled in a beginning-level Spanish language course and they were exposed to either 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, or 140 target form tokens. This study included a pretest, immediate posttest, and a delayed posttest measuring interpretation and production of both primary and secondary target forms. Findings reveal that primary form interpretation effects across all frequencies, however, production findings present themselves with the 60 and 80 token groups only. Secondary form interpretation findings reveal themselves across all frequency levels with the exception of the lowest frequency investigated (40 tokens) and secondary form production mirror those found in previous studies on the same forms. As such, we discuss the theoretical and methodological ramifications of these findings as well as directions for future research.

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IRAL is devoted to problems of general and applied linguistics in their various forms. Its focus of interest lies in areas of research which concern first- and second-language acquisition (including sign language and gestural systems). Contributions cover topics such as naturalistic and instructed language learning, language loss, bilingualism, language contact, language for specific purposes, language technology and mother-tongue education.