Edited by Susan H. Foster-Cohen, Tanja Ruthenberg and Marie Louise Poschen
[EUROSLA Yearbook 2] 2002
► pp. 49–69
Interpretation of English tense morphophonology by advanced L2 speakers
This study tests the assumption in much of the literature on the second language acquisition of English tense and aspect morphophonology (e.g. bare verbs, V-ing, V-ed) that once speakers are beyond intermediate levels of proficiency, both distribution and interpretation of these forms are represented in a target-like way in their mental grammars. Three groups of advanced non-native speakers (whose L1s were Chinese, Japanese and the verb-raising languages Arabic, French, German and Spanish) were compared with native speakers on an acceptability judgement task requiring informants to judge the appropriateness of sentences involving different verb forms to contexts which privileged specific interpretations. The results suggest an effect of the persistent influence of parametric differences between languages such that where parametrised grammatical properties are not activated in the L1, they are not available for the construction of representations in the L2.
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