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Cherici, A. (2020). Topic-drop vs. pro-drop: Null Subjects in Chinese Native Speakers’ L3 Italian.

This study investigates whether, when acquiring null subjects in L3 Italian, Chinese NSs resort to their L1, considering that it too allows some form of null arguments, or to L2 English, given its typological similarity with the L3. The results of an acceptability judgment task show that the group with the highest L2 proficiency accepted non-target overt subjects at the highest rate. However, the overall high acceptance of null subjects reveals that several factors, besides L2 transfer, contribute to shaping L3 acquisition.


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