Predictors of innovative estar
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The choice between Spanish copulas ser and estar is one that can be potentially difficult for Second Language Learners of Spanish. One structure in particular that often proves to be difficult to master is the copula + adjective construction. It appears to be more difficult because variation between the uses of the two copulas is often permitted. Also, a more recent phenomenon referred to as the extension of estar, makes these distinctions more difficult for learners to acquire. This study examines copula selection among twenty-one second language learners as well as eight native speakers with particular focus on the variables adjective class, animacy of the referent and extremity of the adjective. Computer software was used to record responses and reaction times. Results indicated that the learners did not employ innovative estar as often as the native speakers, yet the general tendencies among copula selection were similar among all groups.