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Marking time : the acquisition of tense and grammatical aspect by French-speaking learners of English

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Marking time : the acquisition of tense and grammatical aspect by French-speaking learners of English

Collins, Laura (1999) Marking time : the acquisition of tense and grammatical aspect by French-speaking learners of English. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The two cross-sectional studies reported on here ( N = 70; N = 91) were designed to explore the relative influences of lexical asp aspect and first language (L1) knowledge on the second language (L2) acquisition of verb morphology. The participants were adult French-speaking learners of English who represented a wide range of proficiency in their knowledge of simple past. The analyses examined the degree to which the learners' appropriate and inappropriate use of tense/aspect markers in past contexts supported the predictions of the aspect hypothesis (Andersen and Shirai, 1994; Bardovi-Harlig, 1994), and the degree to which it showed influence from French, their (L1). The findings showed that both factors played a role. French-speaking learners were significantly more successful in using past morphology with telics (accomplishments and achievements) and had the most difficulty with statives. Lexical aspect also appeared to influence the forms that competed for simple past: there was greater use of progressive with activities, and simple present with statives. These findings are consistent with the predictions of the aspect hypothesis, and partially consistent with previous research with L2 learners of English from other L1 backgrounds. Francophones also showed evidence of L1 influence in their inappropriate use of perfect (a French-influenced form) with telics, a finding that has not been reported in previous research. The interpretation of the findings takes into account individual variation and developmental constraints. The thesis concludes with some discussion of the potential implications of the findings for second language pedagogy.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Collins, Laura
Pagination:xiii, 208 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:1999
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lightbown, Patsy M.
ID Code:994
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:15
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:18
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