Syntactic planning of English genitives in L1 and L2 production: The Animacy Rule Model

Frank Romano

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (SciVal)


    Choice of a syntactic frame in language production is predetermined by the relative conceptual accessibility of the participating referents, whereby animate entities precede inanimate ones. This pilot study is an initial investigation into the effects of conceptual accessibility on choice of English genitive construction in native and second language production. The sentence-recall experiment completed by native and non-native speakers of English finds evidence in favor of a single-stage model with direct conceptual-to-constituent structure mapping, devoid of grammatical functions. Implications for native and non-native models of speech production and the nature of conceptual accessibility in English genitives are discussed, whilst a large overlap between native and advanced non-native speakers is argued to be inconsistent with claims of the vulnerability of uninterpretable formal features that do not form part of the L1 grammar of late L2 acquirers (Tsimpli and Dimitrakopoulou, 2007).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)104-121
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


    • Animacy
    • Conceptual accessibility
    • Grammatical functions
    • Interpretability Hypothesis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language


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