Second Language Acquisition

(1) L2 Development of Syntactic Complexity (in collaboration with Dr. Jason Killam and Dr. Kimberly Geeslin)

Employs a functional analysis to observe how linguistic complexity develops in interlanguage Spanish. Results to date show that low level learners use complexity (e.g. subordinated clauses) that mirrors the clause structures used in native English. However, as proficiency increases, the use of adjectival, nominal and adverbial clauses changes both in frequency and type in a non-linear pattern towards the Spanish norm.

Presentations:
  • Killam, J., Fafulas, S., & Geeslin, K. (2015, October). Complex Syntax in L2 Spanish: Simultaneous Narrations of the Pear Stories Film. Second Language Research Forum. Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Killam, J., & Fafulas, S. (2014, March). An Exploration of the Acquisition of Complex Syntax in L2 Spanish. Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics. Washington, D.C.

Publications:

  • Killam, J., Fafulas, S., & Geeslin, K. (In preparation). An Exploration of the Acquisition of Complex Syntax in L2 Spanish.

(2) L2 Acquisition of Simple Present and Present Progressive forms

Investigates the acquisition and variable use of simple present and present progressive verb forms by English-speaking learners of Spanish in the United States, as well as native speakers of Spanish from four dialect regions. This project is among the first to extend the analysis to ‘other’ types of progressive constructions (i.e. seguir, venir, ir, andar + V-ndo) which have received considerably less attention than the more frequent estar + V-ndo form.

Presentations:
  • Fafulas, S. (2015, October). The Aspect Hypothesis in L2 Spanish: New Data from the Present Progressive. Second Language Research Forum. Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Geeslin, K., & Fafulas, S. (2014, October). Progressive aspect marking in second language Spanish: Multiple dialects and variability in the input. Second Language Research Forum. Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Fafulas, S. (2014, March). Cross-linguistic, learner, and individual differences in the expression of progressive aspect. Southeastern Conference on Linguistics. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
  • Fafulas, S. (2014, March). Multifunctionality and Layering in First and Second Language Grammars: Acquisition and Use of Simple Present and Present Progressive forms in Spanish & English. Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics. Washington, D.C.
  • Geeslin, K., & Fafulas, S. (2010, October). Variation of the simple present and present progressive forms in second-language Spanish. Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. Bloomington, Indiana.

Publications:

  • Fafulas, S. (2015). Progressive Constructions in Native-Speaker and Adult-Acquired Spanish. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 8(1), 85–133.
  • Geeslin, K., & Fafulas, S. (2012). Variation of the Simple Present and Present Progressive Forms: A Comparison of Native and Non-native Speakers. In K. Geeslin & M. Díaz-Campos (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 14th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (pp.179–196). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

(3) L2 Acquisition of Variable Structures (in collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Geeslin and Matthew Kanwit)

Investigates how L2 learners acquire the variation of linguistic forms that are conditioned by linguistic, social and interactional factors.

Publications:

  • Geeslin, K., Linford, B., & Fafulas, S. (2015). Variable subject expression in second language Spanish: Uncovering the developmental sequence and predictive linguistic factors. In A. M. Carvalho, R. Orozco, & N. Lapidus Shin (Eds.), Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish: A Cross dialectal perspective (pp. 191–210). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • Kanwit, M., Geeslin, K., & Fafulas, S. (2015). Study abroad and the SLA of variable structures: A look at the present perfect, the copula contrast, and the present progressive in Mexico and Spain. Probus, 27(2), 307–348.
  • Geeslin, K., Linford, B., Fafulas, S., Long, A., & Díaz-Campos, M. (2013). The L2 Development of Subject Form Variation in Spanish: The Individual vs. the Group. In J. Cabrelli Amaro et al. (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 16th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (pp. 156–174). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
  • Geeslin, K., Fafulas, S., & Kanwit, M. (2013). Acquiring geographically-variable norms of use: The case of the present perfect in Mexico and Spain. In C. Howe, S. E. Blackwell, & M. Lubbers Quesada (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 15th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (pp. 205–220). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.