Article published in:Tense-Aspect-Modality in a Second Language: Contemporary perspectives
Edited by Martin Howard and Pascale Leclercq
[Studies in Bilingualism 50] 2017
► pp. 145–182
‘It starts to explode.’ Phasal segmentation of contextualised events in L2 English
En route to acquiring novel principles of temporal information organisation in the target language, second language (L2) learners exhibit a capacity to build temporal constructions of their own, which are not necessarily fixed in the principles of either their source or their target language system. This study surveys hitherto unattested interlanguage phenomena found in the phasal segmentation patterns of two intermediate-level learner groups with unrelated source languages, and identifies analogies of shared developmental patterns. Film verbalisations and acceptability judgements (AJ) were used to elicit responses from Czech and Hungarian intermediate learners of English, and their analyses yielded a threefold benefit. They generated representative degrees of granularity for each group who experiment with new segmentation techniques. They also showed that the ways in which learners partition events in production (pronounced digression from the target) do not directly replicate patterns in acceptability judgements (closer approximation to the target). And thirdly, overlaps and contrasts between learner and native control speaker preferences for phasal partitioning varied in close relation to specific aspectual properties inherent to the verbs used. The combination of production features and acceptability judgements from L2 groups with distant L1s provides an informative mosaic of how learners at intermediate L2 proficiency strive for an optimal fit when combining available linguistic elements to express specific event phases.
Published online: 15 February 2017
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Council of Europe
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Cited by 2 other publications
Tang, Mengmeng, Norbert Vanek & Leah Roberts
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