Current Research Projects

The acquisition of Differential Object Marking (DOM) in Chinese-speaking and Brazilian Portuguese-speaking learners of Spanish: On the role of language typology and structure complexity.

    • Investigators: Alejandro Cuza, Julio César López-Otero (Rutgers University) and Jian Jiao (Purdue University).
    • This project examines the acquisition of DOM in Chinese L2 learners and heritage speakers of Spanish born and raised in Brazil. Specifically, we examine the extent to which difficulties in DOM acquisition can be explained in terms of structural complexity and language typology.
    • Representative works:
      • Cuza, A., Jiao J., & López-Otero, J.C. (in progress). Does typological proximity matter? Evidence from Brazilian Portuguese and Mandarin speakers of Spanish.
      • Jiao, J., Cuza, A., López-Otero, J.C. (2017). The acquisition of personal a in Chinese-speaking L2 Learners of Spanish: A case for syntactic complexity. Oral presentation at the 2017 Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. Texas Tech University. October 26-28, 2017
      • Cuza, A., López-Otero, J.C. & Jiao, J. (2016). Does typological similarity matter? Evidence from Differential Object Marking in Brazilian Portuguese/Spanish bilinguals. Oral presentation at the 35th Second Language Research Forum (SLRF 16). Teachers College. Columbia University. September 22-25, 2016.

Bare Nominals and Object Drop in the Grammars of Spanish-Portuguese and Chinese-Spanish learners

    • Investigators: Alejandro Cuza, Julio César López-Otero (Rutgers University) and Jian Jiao (Purdue University).
    • This project looks at the development of bare nominals and object expression and omission in Portuguese and Chinese speakers of Spanish as heritage and second language, respectively.

The morphosyntactic development of Spanish and Catalan in child and adult grammars

    • Investigators: Alejandro Cuza and Pedro Guijarro Fuentes (University of Balearic Islands)
    • This project examines the acquisition of three morphosyntactic structures in Spanish-Catalan bilingual children and adults: gender concord and word order, object drop, and copula use. We are interested in investigating the effects of language contact and interaction in qualitative changes in the grammar of child bilinguals and the extent to which these changes are also present in the adult grammar.
    • Representative works:
      • Cuza, A. & Guijarro-Fuentes, P (forthcoming). The distribution of copulas ser and estar in Spanish/Catalan Bilinguals. In A. Cuza and P. Guijarro-Fuentes (eds.), Language Acquisition and Contact in the Iberian Peninsula. De Gruyter Mouton.
      • Cuza, A., & Guijarro-Fuentes, P. (2017). Semantic Redistribution of Copula Ser/Estar in Catalan/Spanish Bilingual Children and Adults. In Proceedings for 41st Boston University Conference in Language Development (BUCLD). Cascadilla Press.

On the Acquisition of L2 Requests in Spanish

    • Investogators: Lori Czerwionka (Purdue University) and Alejandro Cuza
    • This project examines the acquisition of request makers among English-speaking L2 learners of Spanish during a short-term study abroad program in Spain.
    • Representative works:
      • Czerwionka, L. & Cuza, A. (2017). The L2 acquisition of Spanish service industry requests in an immersion context. Hispania, 100(2), 239-260.
      • Czerwionka, L. & Cuza, A. (2017). A pragmatic analysis of L2 Spanish requests: Acquisition in three situational contexts during short-term study abroad. Intercultural Pragmatics, 14(3), 391-419.

The development of Spanish morphosyntax in heritage speakers of Cuban Spanish

    • Investigators: Alejandro Cuza and Jose Camacho (Rutgers University)
    • Representative work:
      • Cuza, A. & Camacho, J. (2017). Pronominal subject expression with inanimate reference in heritage speakers of Cuban Spanish. In Alejandro Cuza (Ed.), Cuban Spanish Dialectology: Variation, Contact and Change. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.

The acquisition of obligatory and variable mood selection by heritage speakers and L2 learners of Spanish

    • Investigators: Eduardo Lustres (Purdue University), Alejandro Cuza, and Aida Garcia (Purdue University)
    • Representative work:
      • Lustres, E., Cuza, A., & García, A. (in progress). The acquisition of subjunctive selection in L2 and Heritage Spanish.

The acquisition of aspectual properties of Spanish reflexive psych verbs in L2 learners and heritage speakers of Spanish

    • Investigators: Aida Garcia (Purdue University), Alejandro Cuza, and Eduardo Lustres (Purdue University)
    • Representative work:
      • García, A., Cuza, A., & Lustres, E. (in progress). The acquisition of the aspectual properties of Spanish reflexive psych-predicates.

The acquisition of copula choice in child heritage speakers of Spanish

    • Investigators: Alejandro Cuza, Nancy Reyes (Purdue University), and Eduardo Lustres (Purdue University)
    • This project examines the extent to which Spanish-English bilingual children have target representations of the distribution of copular ser and estar in adjectival contexts and event locatives.
    • Representative work:
      • Cuza, A., Reyes, N. & Lustres, E. (in progress). Ser/Estar production and interpretation in child heritage speakers of Spanish.

The role of early biliteracy instruction in the acquisition of Spanish as heritage language in childhood.

    • Investigators: Alejandro Cuza, Lauren Miller (Purdue University), Adrian Pasquarella (University of Deleware), and A. Xi-Chen (University of Toronto)
    • Representative work:
      • Cuza, A., Miller, L., Pasquarella, A. & Xi-Chen. (2017). The role of literacy instruction in the development of Spanish as a heritage language during childhood. The Heritage Language Journal, 14(2), 100-123.

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