Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Virginia Mueller Gathercole

Date of Defense

3-27-2014

Abstract

This investigation focused on the treatment of English deictic verbs of motion by Spanish-English bilinguals in Miami. Although English and Spanish share significant overlap of the spatial deixis system, they diverge in important aspects. It is not known how these verbs are processed by bilinguals. Thus, this study examined Spanish-English bilinguals’ interpretation of the verbs come, go, bring, and take in English.

Forty-five monolingual English speakers and Spanish-English bilinguals participated. Participants were asked to watch video clips depicting motion events and to judge the acceptability of accompanying narrations spoken by the actors in the videos.

Analyses showed that, in general, monolinguals and bilinguals patterned similarly across the deictic verbs come, bring, go and take. However, they did differ in relation to acceptability of word order for verbal objects. Also, bring was highly accepted by all language groups across all goal paths, possibly suggesting an innovation in its use.

Identifier

FI14040892

 

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