Dativizable or Non-dativizable: That is the question? A syntactic- semantic analysis of English (non)-dativizable constructions in the production of a set of 2L1 English/Spanish simultaneous bilingual twins

Authors: Silvia Sánchez Calderón, Raquel Fernández Fuertes

Corresponding: Silvia Sánchez Calderón (silvia-sanchez@fyl.uva.es)

Keywords: dativizable, non-dativizable, DOC, to/fordative, bilingual acquisition, L1 English

Doi: http://dx.medra.org/10.7423/XJENZA.2016.1.07

Issue: Xjenza Online Vol. 4 Iss. 1 - July 2016

This paper analyzes the syntactico-semantic factors which trigger Dative shift in English dativizable verbs, i.e. those verbs that allow alternation between double object and prepositional complement constructions. It also focuses on non-dativizable verbs that restrict their subcategorization framework to either double object or prepositional complement constructions. This syntactico-semantic relation between dativizable and nondativizable structures is addressed in acquisition by examining the incidence for the two verb types in a set of English/Spanish 2L1 bilingual twins. Our results show that the syntactic and semantic features that dativizable and non-dativizables present go hand in hand with the age of rst occurrence and the language development of the participants. Hence, dativizable to-dative double object constructions (DOC) are the utterances produced the earliest at the age of 2, as opposed to dativizable to/for-datives and non-dativizable constructions, which begin to emerge at around the age of 3. Finally, our results also suggest that the high adult input frequency explains the twins' early production of dativizable structures and that, in the same way, the children's low exposure to non-dativizable utterances correlates with the later occurrence in the twins' spontaneous production.

Download Article: