Does second-language (L2) syntactic influence on first-language (L1) reflect long-term changes to L1 syntax or occur only as a result of retrieval difficulties during time-constrained tasks? To evaluate L2 influence on L1 representation of animacy constraints (an element at the syntax–semantics interface) and word order (narrow syntax), we asked Korean–English bilingual speakers to judge sentences for grammaticality under both speeded and unspeeded conditions (Study 1) and to choose the more acceptable sentence of pairs that contained one grammatical and one ungrammatical sentence (Study 2). We found evidence for L2 influence on L1 animacy constraints in all cases and potential L2 influence on L1 word order in Study 1. These results indicate that L2 influence on L1 syntax can be observed even in conditions that reduce retrieval difficulty, implicating changes to underlying L1 representations. They also support the notion of greater susceptibility to change at the syntax–semantics interface.

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