This paper explores steps we might take as researchers to shift our focus from individual tense-aspect form-meaning associations to focus increasingly on how tense-aspect form-meaning associations fit together to form L2 tense-aspect systems and how they may be aided or constrained by the interlanguage more generally. The chapter begins by first considering what we know thus far about the second language acquisition of tense and aspect from functional perspectives. The chapter then presents three areas for investigation with the potential for addressing the goal of investigating L2 TMA systems rather than individual form-meaning associations. Moving from within the tense-mood-aspect system outward, the paper first considers exploring the interactions of individual form-to-meaning and meaning-to-form mappings with other tense-mood-aspect mappings in the system, then considers the text-types in which various tense-mood-aspect devices occur, and finally takes into account other linguistic systems to consider how the realization of tense-mood-aspect morphology might be constrained by a learner’s L2 phonology or proficiency with the spelling system of the L2.
2.2Expanding our understanding of how future fits into two additional subsystems: Progressive and modality
3.Tense-Mood-Aspect and text type
3.5Irrealis: Hypothetical and future texts
4.The realization of Tense-Mood-Aspect and constraints of pronunciation and spelling
4.1Studies of oral production
4.2Comparison of oral and written production of the same text
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