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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11177

Title: The L2 Acquisition and L1 Attrition of the Interpretation and Use of Aspectual Properties in Spanish among English-speaking L2 Learners and Long-term Spanish Immigrants
Authors: Cuza-Blanco, Alejandro
Advisor: Perez-Leroux, Ana Teresa
Department: Spanish
Keywords: Second Language Acquisition/L1 Attrition
Spanish-English bilinguals, Tense and Aspect
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2008
Abstract: This thesis examines the L2 acquisition and L1 attrition of aspectual properties in Spanish. Specifically, it investigates preterite versus imperfect distinctions and the ongoing value of the Spanish present tense among English-speaking L2 learners and long-term Spanish immigrants. In contrast to previous research which explains L2 learners’ difficulties as a result of either maturational constraints or morphosyntactic development, this study provides a supplementary explanation focusing on L1 transfer of the semantic patterns of tense morphemes. The study proceeds by comparing data from L2 learners with that of long-term Spanish immigrants. Unlike what is argued for L2 acquisition difficulties, the difficulties immigrants may have with tense and aspect cannot stem solely from impairment reasons. These immigrants acquired the L2 as adults. Therefore, to the extent that L2 learners share similar patterns of errors with adult immigrants, L2 speakers’ difficulties cannot be unequivocally linked to causes related to impairment. Instead, following a selectional approach to aspectual variation (De Swart, 1998), it is argued that transfer of the selectional patterns of tense morphemes offers a more encompassing explanation of the difficulties L2 speakers face with tense and aspect. Data collection involved two truth-value judgment tasks, two acceptability judgment tasks and two elicited production tasks. Twenty long-term immigrants, twenty English-speaking L2 learners of Spanish, and twenty native speakers of Spanish serving as control participants took part in the study. Results show incorrect activation of aspectual patterns by both experimental groups and similar patterns of difficulties in some of the conditions under investigation. I conclude that transfer from the other language offers a more adequate explanation of the difficulties L2 learners face
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11177
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Spanish & Portuguese - Doctoral theses

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