Vasiliki Rizou & Artemis Alexiadou | Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Modern Greek has two sets of Voice forms, active vs. non-active voice (NAct). NAct is used with passives, reciprocals, reflexives and certain anticausatives as well as in deponent verbs (Embick, 1997; 1998; Alexiadou & Anagnostopoulou, 2004).
The approximate age of L1 NAct acquisition (beginning with short passives) is around 5 years old (Fotiadou and Tsimpli, 2010; Zombolou et al., 2010; Grey 2020).
We aim to explore which verb categories bearing NAct voice are produced by two groups of Heritage Speakers (HSs) and whether these diverge from monolingual productions.
Methodology: In a production task, speakers narrated a fictional event (N=63 HSs in the US, Mean Age=23;0, N=47 HSs in Germany, Mean Age=22;4 and Ν=64 monolinguals, Mean Age=21;4) in two communicative situations (Wiese 2017). Number of tokens 65.746.
Results: a) Both HSs groups produced less verbs bearing NAct than monolinguals in all four categories (Table 1).
|HSs in the US||HSs in Germany||Monolinguals|
b) We observed seven non-target forms in our HSs groups (1-2), NAct appearing on verbs that don’t combine with NAct. This suggest that HSs generalize NAct as an intransitivity marker. This is unlike L1 acquisition, where Active is generalized (Zombolou et al., 2010).
|1)||den ihe ora na||*stamatithi||Greek HS in Germany|
|didn’t have time to||stop NAct|
|Didn’t have time to stop|
|2)||Ke to aftokinito aspro||*spastike||to ble aftokinito||Greek HS in the US|
|And the white car||broke NAct||the blue car|
|The white car crashed into the blue car|
The findings indicate a) quantitative differences between HSs and monolinguals as the former deviate from the latter; b) a re-analysis of NAct marking as an intransitivity marker.
Alexiadou, A. and Anagnostopoulou, E. (2004). Voice morphology in the causative- inchoative alternation: Evidence for a non-unified structural analysis of unaccusatives. In: Alexiadou, A., Anagnostopoulou, E., and Everaert, M., (eds.) The unaccusativity puzzle, pages 114–136. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Embick, D. (1997). Voice and the interfaces of syntax. PhD thesis, University of Pennsylvania.
Embick, D. (1998). Voice Systems and the Syntax/Morphology Interface. In The Proceedings of the Penn/MIT Workshop on Aspect, Argument Structure, and Events, May, pages 1–32. University of Pennsylvania.
Fotiadou, G. and Tsimpli, I. (2010). The acquisition of transitivity alternations in Greek: Does frequency count? Lingua, 120(11):2605–2626.
Grey, C. (2020). The acquisition of transitivity alternations by bilingual children. A comparative study. PhD thesis, Humboldt University of Berlin.
Wiese, H. (2017). Language Situations: A method for capturing variation within speakers’ repertoires. In: Yoshiyuki A. (ed.) Methods in Dialectology XVI. Bamberg Studies in English Linguistics. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang.
Zombolou, K., Varlokosta, S., and Alexiadou, A. (2010). Acquiring Anticausatives versus Passives in Greek. In Proceedings of the 34th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development 2009, vol. 2, pages 515–524, Somerville, MA. Cascadilla Press.