Is it only about only? A Study on Focus Particle Placement Acceptability in L2 English Learners and English Monolinguals
The placement of adverbs has been widely studied over the last few decades, both in first (L1) and second language (L2) acquisition. While traditional grammars teach that the preferred order in English is (S)ubject, (A)dverb, and (V)erb, adverbs which introduce focus receive less attention. Focus particles take scope over the constituents they precede, making their placement and interpretation in a sentence variable. In this study I investigate the acceptability of Focus particle (only, even, also) placement when used as adverbs in 96 participants: 48 Italian L2 English learners and 48 English monolinguals.