Date of Degree

2-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Linguistics

Advisor

Gita Martohardjono

Keywords

Bilingualism | Anaphora Resolution | Modern Greek | Heritage Speakers

Abstract

This thesis investigates anaphora resolution patterns of bilingual Greek-American children and adults living in a Greek community of Queens, New York. The purpose of the study is twofold: first, to test aspect effects in discourse structures containing a verb of perception (per Carminati, 2002, and also, Torregrossa et al. 2020), and second, to test whether ambiguous sentences with null subject and overt subject pronoun alterations comply with the Position of the Antecedent Strategy (PAS) in different word order variations. Current work in Modern Greek has focused both on the syntactic and semantic factors that affect anaphora resolution patterns. This experiment takes these into account and analyzes results based on an orally presented picture-sentence matching test and an elaborate questionnaire that is used to extrapolate data that might affect anaphora resolution preferences. The findings show that exposure to the Greek language, and in particular informal exposure, has a significant effect on patterns abiding with the hypotheses of the dominant scholarship. These results replicate and extend former studies on the null subject parameter and its realization within bilingualism and shed light on heritage speakers’ acquisition patterns for both children and adults.

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