11 Replies to “Child Heritage Speakers’ Knowledge of Spanish Differential Object Marking (Pablo Requena)”

  1. Terrific study, Pablo! I admire your rigor and your uncanny ability to summarize an incredibly complex study in 4 minutes, ¡dame tu receta, amigo! 😉

    My comment/question/pregunta lanzada al cielo has to do with some of the shortcomings of working with corpus data (which I’ve encountered myself, as you well know) and the possibility of addressing them using the data at hand. The frog stories available in CHILDES provide us with limited linguistic/exposure information about the participants, namely the type of program where they are enrolled and the language used before Kinder. We know, however, that linguistic proficiency of these children (now in 2nd and 5th grade) might have undergone many changes. How can we account for this when we work with corpus data? Have you considered how this may have impacted the results? There is a clear contrast between human/non human and the use of DOM, however, the CIs ranges are pretty wide, suggesting variability in the sample. Could this be an effect of proficiency?

    To be honest, I think you found a very clever way out of this (and by this I mean the issue of not having prof data) by shifting the focus of the analysis to the presence/absence of contrasts (human-non-human) and the possibility of gradience, rather than comparing child HSs’ performance with that of an age-matched control group (which often obscures the nature of heritage language grammars).

    De nuevo, ¡estupendo trabajo!

    1. Dear Silvia,
      Thanks for your comments. I totally agree with your observation about working with corpus data. In this case, in particular, the data was collected by other researchers, so there is even the added degree of separation between us and the participants. However, what I like about this particular corpus is that they report not only language exposure in the home, but also the type of language program the kids have been attending since they entered school. That should provide us with some more detail about their language experience. In the book written about this study by the corpus creators, they provide some more measures that they took to describe their language knowledge. While that data are not widely available (reslts of their other measures) it provides some degree of reassurance that they really describer the kids in as much detail as they could. In my case, I do not love grouping kids in such big groups based on language experience, but with the data available that was all I was able to do.

      The short presentation was because I realized that my account had not been activated for the full length and I was not going to let that deter me. Ha! So, I just spoke quickly. Kuddos to you for being able to follow!

      1. Thanks for your answer! I will definitely take this into consideration when writing up my corpus data as well (I anticipate this issue will likely raise some concerns by reviewers). There is much value, however, on this type of exploratory studies, as they provide us with evidence from semi-spontaneous narratives from a large/diverse sample that would be rather difficult to obtain otherwise. Congrats!

  2. Great work, Pablo!

    Quick question…
    I saw that the children in your analyses used DOM 74% of the time with human direct objects (in non-clitic doubled contexts).

    Did you notice any (other) factors that appeared to favor or disfavor DOM production in this particular situation? I’m mostly wondering whether kids seemed to produce more/less DOM with certain (in)frequent verbs and/or (in)frequent objects, but if you noticed any other apparent trend here, I’d love to know more!


  3. Dear David,
    Thank you so much for your question. There is no lexical diversity of human DOs in the story, because it only contains one human character (the child). So, to answer your second question first, the object in all these sentences with a Human DO that do not contain Clitic Doubling was the very frequent word “el niño” to refer to the very salient, definite and specific boy.

    With respect to the erbs there is a bit more variability (not that much because the story restricts it). The verbs used without DOM in these contexts (with human DOs and no CD) were verbs such as: tirar, coger, perseguir, traer, llevar, empujar/pujar/pushar, poner, picar, agarrar, dejar. Its the same types of verbs also used all throughout. But I would like to explore this further in case tehre is a pattern that is not that apparent. Thanks for making me think about this


  4. Wonderful talk, Pablo! Very exciting and interesting work! Of course you know I’m interested in possible lexical effects for specific verbs ;). You’ll keep us posted I’m sure!

    1. Hi Naomi,
      Thanks for watching and for the reaction. Yes, I will keep you posted.

  5. Hola Pablo,

    ¡Gracias por la presentación!

    I was a little bit surprised to see DOM used in 100% of cases of clitic doubling (which I believe are all non-CLLD) with [-human] objects, but not in all cases with [+human] objects. Do you happen to have an example of one of these [+human] cases? Any thoughts/hypotheses on this? It is a very small number, but seems inconsistent with the overall patterns found in the childrens’ production in terms of the animacy spectrum.



    1. Hi Becky,
      Thanks for your question. The 94% for +Human is due to only one case (“y con sus [/] (…) sus cuernos lo [* 0] coge el [* al] niño (…)”). But in all the rest of +Human tokens with CD (15/16) DOM also occurred. So, I would consider DOM to be categorical with both +Human and -Human when the DO is doubled.

  6. Hola Pablo!

    Un gusto verte aquí y muy conciso dentro de 4 minutos!

    I love DOM! and I’m so glad that we are researching similar areas. Following up on David’s questions about the frequent verbs, you mentioned that verbs such as : tirar, coger, perseguir, traer, llevar, empujar/pujar/pushar, poner, picar, agarrar, dejar where the verbs that where produced without DOM in required context. I remember discussing with you in a previous conference about considering Heusinger and Kaiser’s (2007) verbal scale. The mentioned verb sets seem to be under the verb class that allows more than one frame (either animate or inanimate NP). Adding this variable as well would be so interesting!

    1. Hola Esther!
      Thanks for the comment. Yes, as I shared above, I didn’t see a noticeable difference in the verbs used with and ithout DOM (as sets of verbs). But it is true that there may be patterns when looking at verbs from the perspective of their “expected animacy of their objects” as pointed out by those authors. I will check that. Thats so much!

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