Edited by Sergio Baauw, Frank Drijkoningen and Manuela Pinto
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 291] 2007
► pp. 131–148
This study investigates the possibility of native-like ultimate attainment by analyzing L2 knowledge of aspect as seen in the Preterit/Imperfect contrast of highly successful English L2 learners of Portuguese and Spanish. Building on innovative work by Montrul & Slabakova (2003) and Slabakova & Montrul (2003), we test knowledge of semantic entailments associated with the acquisition of [+/- perfective] features checked in higher AspP. Additionally, we investigate the possibility of a specific pattern of associated target-deviant L2 performance. We hypothesize that L2 performance can be affected by explicit positive evidence (pedagogical rules) despite otherwise demonstrable native-like competence. Indeed, the data reveal a pattern of target-deviant performance noted only in three specific contexts, all of which can be linked to traditional instruction: (a) with particular stative verbs not used in the Preterit (b) when preceded by certain adverbial phrases (e.g.,siempre) and (c) so-called semantic shifting verbs (e.g., sabía vs. supe).
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