Language and Speech Laboratory

Placeholders in the English interlanguage of biliingual (Basque-Spanish) children

María del Pilar García Mayo, Amparo Lázaro Ibarrola, Juana Muñoz Liceras.

Language Learning      volume:55(3):445-489.

In this article we provide an explanation for 2 syntactic phenomena whose systematic production ha been observed in the English non-native grammar of three different age groups of 58 biulingual (Basque-Spanish) children after 4 years of exposure to English in a formal setting: (a) insertion of 'is' before a lexical verb and (b) insertion of a subject personal pronoun before a lexical verb. We argue that the presence of these phenomena could be explained assuming that the transfer of a functional projection ommon to the participants' first language and a gradual incorporation of the second language lexical items involved.