First and second-language patterns of variation: Acquisition and use of simple present and present progressive forms in Spanish and English
Time: Wednesday, February 06, 2013, 12:15pm - 01:00pm
Place: Ballantine Hall 004
This investigation addresses the acquisition of the present progressive, and the variation of this form with the simple present, by English-speaking learners of Spanish in the US. Empirical research on the variation of these forms by native speakers (NS) of English and Spanish, and in particular the acquisition of the present progressive by nonnative speakers (NNS) of Spanish, is scarce. While seeking to fill this void in the literature, a second major contribution of this project is the extension of the analysis to the progressive constructions: seguir, venir, ir, and andar + V-ndo, which have received considerably less attention than the more frequent estar + V-ndo form, especially in the second-language (L2) variationist literature.
Relatively little is known about how English-speaking learners of Spanish deal with the differences between the uses of the simple present and present progressive forms in these two languages. At what level of proficiency do they begin to employ both forms in similar contexts as NS of Spanish? Do they acquire the full range of progressive constructions, and sensitivity to the same linguistic predictors of use, found in NS grammars? The current study will empirically answer these questions through the use of film narrations, written contextualized questionnaires, and surveys of language-learning experiences from 115 participants.
Results indicate that as learners of Spanish gain proficiency they move toward a second-language grammar which permits variation between the simple present and present progressive forms, as is found in native speaker grammars. However, while learners at the highest levels acquire the linguistic constraints guiding native speaker selection of the simple present and present progressive estar + V-ndo form, they do not acquire the full range of lexical forms used to express progressive aspect found in monolingual Spanish. These findings have implications for current contact-induced and interlanguage theories on Spanish-English grammatical development.
|In category: Second language acquisition|
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