This paper compares heritage speakers and second language (L2) speakers of Spanish with Dutch as their dominant language, in order to explore the role of age of onset and manner of acquisition in the nature of the knowledge (implicit vs. explicit) of the subjunctive. Differently from previous studies, all items were presented orally and in written form, so that language mode of presentation could be excluded as a confounding factor. Moreover, the groups were matched on their general proficiency in Spanish using both an explicit and an implicit proficiency task. The results showed that the L2 speakers outperformed the heritage speakers in the explicit knowledge task and vice versa in the implicit knowledge task, suggesting that differential task effects, which thus far have only been attested for morpho-syntactic phenomena, can be extended to interface phenomena as well. These findings imply that age of onset and manner of acquisition have an influence in the way knowledge is represented in these two populations, and moreover emphasize the importance of using different task types in bilingual research.
van Osch, B., Hulk, A., Aalberse, S., & Sleeman, P. (2018). Implicit and Explicit Knowledge of a Multiple Interface Phenomenon: Differential Task Effects in Heritage Speakers and L2 Speakers of Spanish in The Netherlands. Languages, 3(3), 25. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030025