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Semantic and morphological reflexes of functional categories: the case of telicity marking in L2 Russian?

Semantic and morphological reflexes of functional categories: the case of telicity marking in L2 Russian?
Semantic and morphological reflexes of functional categories: the case of telicity marking in L2 Russian?
Two major mechanisms of encoding telicity across languages are: either marking the object as exhaustively countable or measurable; or utilizing a specific prefix on the verbal form. English uses the first mechanism predominantly, while Russian utilizes the second. The learning task of an English speaker acquiring Russian, then, is two-fold: to learn each individual verb with its subset of perfective prefixes, and to acquire the fact that all prefixed verbs denote telic events. Fifty-eight English-speaking learners of Russian as well as 41 controls took an on-line test of semantic interpretation, as well as a cloze test, which tested lexical knowledge of verbs and lexical knowledge of perfective prefixes. Results indicate that both intermediate and advanced learners are highly accurate in interpreting Russian telicity marking. At the same time, there is a significant gap in their lexical knowledge of prefixes versus verbs in general. It is argued that the difficulty in acquiring Russian aspect lies in learning the lexical items signaling telicity, but crucially NOT in learning the grammatical mechanism for telicity marking.
284-297
Cascadilla Press
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Liceras, Juana
Zobl, Helmut
Goodluck, Helen
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Liceras, Juana
Zobl, Helmut
Goodluck, Helen

Slabakova, Roumyana (2003) Semantic and morphological reflexes of functional categories: the case of telicity marking in L2 Russian? Liceras, Juana, Zobl, Helmut and Goodluck, Helen (eds.) In Proceedings of the 6th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2002). Cascadilla Press. pp. 284-297 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Two major mechanisms of encoding telicity across languages are: either marking the object as exhaustively countable or measurable; or utilizing a specific prefix on the verbal form. English uses the first mechanism predominantly, while Russian utilizes the second. The learning task of an English speaker acquiring Russian, then, is two-fold: to learn each individual verb with its subset of perfective prefixes, and to acquire the fact that all prefixed verbs denote telic events. Fifty-eight English-speaking learners of Russian as well as 41 controls took an on-line test of semantic interpretation, as well as a cloze test, which tested lexical knowledge of verbs and lexical knowledge of perfective prefixes. Results indicate that both intermediate and advanced learners are highly accurate in interpreting Russian telicity marking. At the same time, there is a significant gap in their lexical knowledge of prefixes versus verbs in general. It is argued that the difficulty in acquiring Russian aspect lies in learning the lexical items signaling telicity, but crucially NOT in learning the grammatical mechanism for telicity marking.

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Published date: 2003
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 391039
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391039
PURE UUID: e29a39a9-aecf-4a21-8754-f0001e4b93a2
ORCID for Roumyana Slabakova: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5839-460X

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Date deposited: 21 Apr 2016 10:34
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:24

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