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In the Afro-Colombian community of San Basilio de Palenque, there are school-based efforts to revitalize the once-endangered creole language Palenquero. At present, most Palenquero language classes do not include grammatical instruction, active student production, or corrective feedback, and there is little or no communication in Palenquero between L2 learners and fluent adult speakers. One result is that L2 Palenquero speakers are overgeneralizing the Palenquero prenominal plural marker to singular contexts, in a fashion that partly suggests a Spanish-influenced misinterpretation as a definite article. The present study summarizes oral and written production, and then analyzes processing data from an eye-tracking experiment confirming L2 learners' emergent restructuring of the Palenquero plural marker. L2 learners have regularized perceived variation similar to learners of artificial languages, and the morphological marking of plurality is seemingly being lost, possibly morphing into an emergent but still unstable definiteness marker effectively delinked from number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-235
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Second Language Acquisition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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