The expression and position of subjects in L2 Greek

Panagiota Margaza, Anna Gavarro Alguero

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


The present study examines the distribution of subjects in L2 Greek by L1 Spanish speakers, Greek and Spanish being two null subject languages that do not always coincide in the use of subjects in pragmatic contexts. The acquisition of subjects is studied within the framework of the Interface Hypothesis (IH), which states that the syntax–pragmatics interface is difficult to acquire in L2 (Sorace & Filiaci 2006; Tsimpli & Sorace 2006) even if L1 and L2 share the null subject value. We designed two tasks in Greek, a multiple-choice task and a word order selection task. The tasks were administered to L1 Spanish intermediate and advanced learners of L2 Greek and native speakers of Greek. The results of the analysis show that the L2 learners attained native-like distribution of subjects in contrastive/non-contrastive contexts, while the intermediate group diverged from target performance in unambiguous referential contexts. Regarding the position of subjects, both L2 groups performed native-like with unergative verbs in direct informational contexts, while the intermediate group presented target-deviant word order patterns in indirect contexts. Therefore, the predictions of the IH were not fulfilled in advanced L2.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 40th Meeting of the Department of Linguistics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Greek Linguistics


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