The role of adverbials in the interpretation of grammatical aspect by learners of Spanish as a second langauge
Baker, Jennifer Lynn
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Adverbials are lexical resources which often duplicate the temporal/aspectual information contained within verb morphology. Research has shown that learners comprehend the temporal chronology of L2 input more accurately and quickly when adverbials are present in addition to verb morphology. This study assesses whether the presence of adverbials affects the interpretation of aspect (imperfect/preterit) by learners as well as by native-speakers. Sixty-two intermediate and advanced English-speaking learners of Spanish and ten native-speakers of Spanish read ten cloze passages, five with temporal adverbials and five without, and then chose either perfective or imperfective verb morphology for 26 verbs in the passages with adverbials and 26 in those without. Employing computer software to judge responses and reaction time, results indicated that the presence of adverbials was very significant for participants’ expected responses, but did not decrease their response time. Further, natives’ interpretation of adverbials and morphology is compared to that of learners.