Article published in:Current Trends in Child Second Language Acquisition: A generative perspective
Edited by Belma Haznedar and Elena Gavruseva
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 46] 2008
► pp. 145–175
The development of copula and auxiliary be and overgeneration of be in child L2 English
This articles examines an asymmetry in the acquisition of copula and auxiliarybe in a longitudinal corpus of English-acquiring consecutive bilinguals (ages 6;4–9;2). I argue that a delay in the productive use of auxiliary be vis-à-vis the copula can be explained under a theory of early L2 grammar that assumes an underspecified AspP. If aspectual features are taken to be underspecified in the initial state, structures requiring aspectual specification are expected to appear in a non-finite form (bare -ing or bare stem). These predictions are borne out in the L2 data as -ing forms and bare stems occur in non-finite and often aspectually inappropriate contexts and that the aspectual errors occur while the copula is used in an adult-like way.
Published online: 09 July 2008