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Spanish Imperfect revisited: exploring L1 influence in the reassembly of imperfective features onto new L2 forms

Spanish Imperfect revisited: exploring L1 influence in the reassembly of imperfective features onto new L2 forms

Domínguez, Laura, Arche, María J. and Myles, Florence (2017) Spanish Imperfect revisited: exploring L1 influence in the reassembly of imperfective features onto new L2 forms. Second Language Research, 33 (4). pp. 431-457. ISSN 0267-6583 (Print), 1477-0326 (Online) (doi:10.1177/0267658317701991)

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Abstract

This study investigates the acquisition of the Spanish Imperfect by sixty English learners of Spanish at three different proficiency levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced). Two oral production tasks and one interpretation task show that although the Imperfect is used from early on, the full array of interpretations associated with this form (habitual, continuous and progressive) is not completely acquired even at advanced levels. Learners accept the Imperfect in imperfective contexts but have problems rejecting the Preterit. This problem persists even at advanced levels in continuous contexts. The continuous is conveyed in English by Past Tense, which is used in both perfective and imperfective contexts, whereas in Spanish only the Imperfect is appropriate. We argue that the incorrect low rejection of the Preterit signals a mapping problem of aspect-related features present in both English and Spanish onto a new form (the Imperfect). These results support the problematic nature of feature reassembly in the acquisition of the Spanish Imperfect by English speakers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aspect; Feature reassembly; Imperfect; L1 influence; Transfer; Spanish
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Literature, Language & Theatre
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2018 15:59
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT a
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16479

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