The challenges imposed by L2 inflectional morphology: evidence from speeded acceptability judgment tasks with Brazilian Portuguese-English bilinguals
The purpose of the present study was to contribute to current documented evidence of the challenges imposed by inflectional morphology in second language acquisition. We conducted two speeded acceptability judgment tasks with Brazilian Portuguese-English bilinguals with different linguistic profiles. We analyzed their behavior with respect to grammatical and ungrammatical sentences in English involving inflectional morphology. Our results suggested that the bilingual speakers differed from English native speakers only with respect to the sentences with missing inflectional morphemes regardless of proficiency level and immersion status. We understand these findings as an indication that difficulty with functional morphology involves perceptual salience and possibly learned attention to linguistic cues.