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Production of subject-verb agreement in Spanish as a second language. In this paper, we report the results of a study of English speakers who have learned Spanish as a second language. All were late learners who have achieved near-advanced proficiency in Spanish. The focus of the research is on the production of subject-verb agreement errors and the factors that influence the incidence of such errors. There is some evidence that English and Spanish subject-verb agreement differ in susceptibility to interference from different types of variables; specifically, it has been reported that Spanish speakers show a greater influence of semantic factors in their implementation of subject-verb agreement (Vigliocco, Butterworth, & Garrett, 1996). In our study, all participants were tested in English (L1) and Spanish (L2). Results indicate nearly identical error patterns: these speakers show no greater influence of semantic variables in the computation of agreement when they are speaking Spanish than when they are speaking English. ep
Building syntactic structures in speaking: a bilingual exploration. In a series of three experiments we investigated syntactic priming using a sentence recall task. Participants read and memorized a target sentence for later recall. After reading a prime sentence and engaging in a distraction task, they were asked to produce the target sentence aloud. Earlier investigations have shown that this task is sensitive to a syntactic priming effect. That is, the syntactic form of the prime sentence sometimes influences the syntactic form of the recalled target. In this paper we report on a variation on this task, using Spanish-English bilingual participants. In the first two experiments we replicated the prepositional phrase priming effect using English target sentences and Spanish prime sentences. In the final experiment we investigated two additional syntactic forms, using Spanish target sentences and English prime sentences. Implications for models of syntax generation and bilingual speech production are discussed. ep