THE INTERPRETATION OF PRESENT PROGRESSIVE ASPECTUAL FEATURES BY L2 SPANISH LEARNERS AND HERITAGE LANGUAGE SPEAKERS
In the last decade, researchers within Second Language Acquisition (SLA) have adopted Chomsky’s theory of Universal Grammar (UG) in order to investigate the role linguistic features play in the acquisition of language (Liceras et al., 2008; Montrul: 2009, 2011). This study is centered on 1) the acquisition and nature of the semantic features that configure Spanish and English present progressives and 2) the role transfer plays in the attainment of the aforementioned properties. According to Lardiere (2009) and Travis (2008) the process of language acquisition consists of learning how linguistic features are assembled in a specific language. By adopting this theoretical framework, it can be implied that the role of the second language learner is to discover where the cross-linguistic differences lie (if there are any) and to acquire and reassemble the new configurations. The aim of this study is to shed light on the acquisition of semantic properties by heritage speakers and Spanish second language learners whose L1 presents a different feature configuration than the target language. In addition, it was also studied whether or not the lexical aspect of the verbs affected the way L2 and heritage language learners interpreted the targeted tense. The aforementioned issues were analyzed through a grammaticality judgment test administered to two experimental groups: 14 L2 advanced Spanish students (+120 hours) and 11 advanced heritage speakers, as well as a control group formed by native speakers of peninsular and Latin American Spanish.
How to Cite
Perez-Cortes, S., (2012) “THE INTERPRETATION OF PRESENT PROGRESSIVE ASPECTUAL FEATURES BY L2 SPANISH LEARNERS AND HERITAGE LANGUAGE SPEAKERS”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 19, 36-55.