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Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 871–898 | Cite as

From Corpora to Experiments: Methodological Triangulation in the Study of Word Order at the Interfaces in Adult Late Bilinguals (L2 learners)

  • Amaya Mendikoetxea
  • Cristóbal Lozano
Article

Abstract

This paper shows the need to triangulate different approaches in Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research to fully understand late bilinguals’ interlanguage grammars. Methodologically, we show how experimental and corpus data can be (and should be) triangulated by reporting on a corpus study (Lozano and Mendikoetxea in Biling Lang Cognit 13(4):475–497, 2010) and a new follow-up offline experiment investigating Subject–Verb inversion (Subject–Verb/Verb–Subject order) in L1 Spanish–L2 English (n = 417). Theoretically, we follow a recent line in psycholinguistic approaches to Bilingualism and SLA research (Interface Hypothesis, Sorace in Linguist Approaches Biling 1(1):1–33, 2011). It focuses on the interface between syntax and language-external modules of the mind/brain (syntax-discourse [end-focus principle] and syntax-phonology [end-weight principle]) as well as a language-internal interface (lexicon-syntax [unaccusative hypothesis]). We argue that it is precisely this multi-faceted interface approach (corpus and experimental data, core syntax and the interfaces, representational and processing models) that provides a deeper understanding of (i) the factors that favour inversion in L2 acquisition in particular and (ii) interlanguage grammars in general.

Keywords

Second language acquisition Learner corpora Offline experiments Triangulation Postverbal subjects Syntax-discourse interface Lexicon-syntax interface 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research has been partly funded by Research Grant FFI2012-30755 funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Funding

This study was funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Grant no. FFI2012-30755).

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Filología Inglesa, Facultad de Filosofía y LetrasCiudad Universitaria de Cantoblanco, Universidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Filologías Inglesa y Alemana, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Campus de CartujaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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