Maria J. Arche, Professor of Linguistics & Spanish at the University of Greenwich and NIAS-Lorentz fellow 2021-2022, is the guest speaker at this ACLC seminar. The title of her talk is 'Futurates as plans: the second language acquisition of another imperfect case'.
|Date||14 January 2022|
Futurates as plans: the second language acquisition of another imperfect case
This paper presents work done in collaboration with Laura Domínguez about the acquisition of cases known as “futurates” (sentences with a future-oriented interpretation without any morphological future marking), which are not completely understood yet. Since futurates are expressed by the imperfective aspect across languages, their investigation contributes to the understanding of the theory and acquisition of the imperfective. This paper presents an investigation into the acquisition of the Spanish Imperfect from sixty English learners of Spanish at three different proficiency levels. Results show that the futurate interpretation is not acquired even by advanced speakers, who, in contrast, acquire the imperfect habitual and progressive readings. We argue that two reasons explain this. Firstly, the greater syntactic complexity proposed by Arche (2020) for futurates, involving the topicalization of an implicit event of planning, predicts protracted acquisition. Secondly, the mismatch between readings and forms between the L1 English, where futurates are expressed in the progressive, and L2 Spanish, where the analytical progressive does not yield such a reading, makes this structure particularly challenging. Our findings contribute to a more comprehensive account of the L2 acquisition of aspect by producing a fuller picture of the acquisition of all the interpretations possible for an Imperfect form, in line with Domínguez, Arche & Myles (2011, 2017).
The ACLC seminar series is a two weekly lecture series organized by the ACLC, research school for linguistics of the Faculty of Humanities.