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


Dominguez, Laura (2017) Spanish Imperfect revisited: exploring L1 influence in the reassembly of imperfective features onto new L2 forms Second Language Research (doi:10.1177/0267658317701991).

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Description/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
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/0267658317701991
ISSNs: 0267-6583 (print)
Keywords: aspect, feature reassembly, Imperfect, L1 influence, transfer, Spanish
Organisations: Modern Languages
ePrint ID: 406189
Date :
Date Event
2 March 2017Accepted/In Press
11 April 2017e-pub ahead of print
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2017 10:41
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2017 02:12
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/406189

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