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When Knowing a Grammar Rule Makes L2 Users Non-Native-like


In this work, we investigate the effects of transfer of training in late Brazilian Portuguese-English bilinguals, compared to natives, in relation to their processing of the English causative-have construction. Two experiments were conducted: one focused on the comprehension of the pattern, and the other focused on its production. The results of both experiments point to the fact that the grammatical rule learned by bilinguals is only 'transferred' when there is time to implement it. In the first experiment, we found no effect of training, on the contrary, bilinguals might have been affected by the SVO distribution of the corresponding construction in their L1. In the second experiment, however, we found that bilinguals had high rates of usage of the canonical causative-have form, SAuxOV. This behavior indicates that bilinguals do not implement the rule automatically. Rather, its implementation is seen in more controlled tasks. Thus, explicitly given grammatical rules seem not to be implicitly learned, as they are not automatized to be easily retrieved in real life usage. Moreover, concerning the causative-have rule, bilinguals' linguistic behavior was more similar to that of natives' when they did not implement the rule and used the SVO form with a causative sense.

Training; Grammar Rule; Bilingualism; Causative-have Construction; Processing

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