A ‘mixed methods’ approach for investigating aspect in a second language
Evidence from the SPLLOC project
A leading hypothesis in the study of the L2 acquisition of aspect-related verbal morphemes is the Lexical Aspect Hypothesis (LAH) (Andersen, 1989
; Andersen & Shirai, 1994
) which claims that learners’ use of these forms is determined by the lexical properties of events. Reviews of major studies reveal that data from one single task, usually an open-ended oral task, have often been used to support this hypothesis. I discuss copious evidence from the acquisition of Spanish to argue that when studies use a ‘mixed methods’ approach (e.g. combining oral production and experimentally elicited data) they are able to test existing hypotheses such as the LAH more reliably and can offer more valuable insights. Existing evidence from the SPLLOC project (Domínguez, Tracy-Ventura, Arche, Mitchell, & Myles, 2013
; Mitchell, Domínguez, Arche, Myles, & Marsden, 2008
) is used as supporting evidence for this approach and to raise questions about the appropriateness of some research methods widely used in our field.
- 1.Research design in the L2 acquisition of aspect: Why it matters
- 2.Choosing the right methodology for investigating aspect in a second language
- 3.Using a combined-methods approach to test the predictions of the Lexical Aspect Hypothesis
- 3.1The Lexical Aspect Hypothesis
- 3.2Spanish Learner Language Oral Corpora (SPLLOC)
- 3.2.1Research design
- 4.Discussion and conclusion
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