Acceptability Experiments in Romance Languages
We present a selective review of studies on Romance languages wherein acceptability experiments played an important role in advancing our knowledge of the grammars of particular linguistic varieties and, by extension, furthering our knowledge of human language and linguistic theory. First, we examine recent studies on word order in wh-questions across varieties of Spanish. Next, we examine the value of acceptability experiments in the study of infrequent structures (e.g. clitic left-dislocation, focus fronting). We highlight the importance of data triangulation by examining studies of information focus in Spanish, emphasizing the impact that methodological choices can have on results. We also examine control and raising structures in Brazilian Portuguese, where conflicting results have required innovative methodological approaches. Since acceptability intuitions may be uniquely nuanced for minority languages, we also briefly discuss how data that is typically used in other theoretical paradigms can contribute to data triangulation with lesser-spoken Romance varieties.
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