The acquisition of tense-aspect morphology
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The present study attempts to explore the acquisition of the English tense and aspect systems by ESOL Chinese native speakers. By duplicating the research method used in Bardovi-Harligs (1992) study and a grammaticality acceptability judgment test in Section 3.10 of Gass, Sorace and Selinker’s book Second Language Learning Data Analysis (1999), a cross-sectional study was conducted on 94 Chinese ESOL learners across three proficiency groups. Results show that these learners displayed a pattern of form preceding meaning appropriateness in acquiring the tense and aspect system of English. Learners relied on other systematic but non-target-like alternatives to facilitate their L2 acquisition. This expands on the prior results: correct and incorrect responses explained by the relationship of form and meaning of English. Language universals, verbal aspects, first language transfer, and lexical cues, etc: the combination of several factors worked together on these learners’ acquisition of the tense and aspect system in English.
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