Open Journal Systems

The L3 acquisition of English tense-aspect system by Uygur speakers with L2 Mandarin Chinese

Qianping Gu, Muradil Adil

Article ID: 1459
Vol 4, Issue 1, 2022, Article identifier:116-131

VIEWS - 9 (Abstract) 7 (PDF)

Abstract

This paper examines the role of Lexical Aspect Hypothesis (LAH) and linguistic typological similarity in the L3 acquisition of English tense and aspect among Uygur speakers with L2 Mandarin Chinese (Chinese hereafter). LAH asserts that the emerging verbal inflections at the early stage of language acquisition primarily function as markers of the lexical aspect and thus predicts universality for acquisition of tense and aspect. However, with an assumption of language transfer, the typological closer relationship of Uygur with English in terms of the tense and aspect system was expected to trigger L1 transfer in L3 acquisition. The study analyzed the English tense and aspect forms used by the participants (N = 25) for verbs of four distinct lexical aspects (50 target items) in contexts of past. The result shows that the lexical aspect influences the appropriate use of past tense—past tense marker aligned with telic predicates (achievements and accomplishments), -ing with activities (for inappropriate uses), and nonpast with states (for inappropriate uses), and the influence is observed at each proficiency level. The results show little evidence for language transfer in the acquisition of the English past tense, either from L1 Uygur or L2 Chinese; instead, the data suggest that L3 acquisition of tense and aspect is more subject to acquisitional universality (LAH).


Keywords

tense-aspect; Lexical Aspect Hypothesis; L3 acquisition; language

Full Text:

PDF


Included Database


References

Andersen RW (1990) Models, processes, principles and strategies: Second language acquisition inside and outside the classroom. In: VanPatten B and Lee JF (eds.) Second Language Acquisition-Foreign Language Learning. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp.45–78.

Andersen RW (1991) Developmental sequences: The emergence of aspect marking in second language acquisition. In: Huebner T and Ferguson CA (eds.) Crosscurrents in Second Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theories. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp.305–324.

Andersen RW and Shirai Y (1994) Discourse motivations for some cognitive acquisition principles. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 16: 133–156.

Bardel C and Falk Y (2007) The role of the second language in third language acquisition: The case of Germanic syntax. Second Language Research 23: 459–484.

Bardovi-Harlig K and Reynolds DW (1995) The role of lexical aspect in the acquisition of tense and aspect. TESOL Quarterly 29(1): 107–131.

Comrie B (1976) Aspect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Eibensteiner L (2019) Transfer in L3 acquisition: How does L2 aspectual knowledge in English influence the acquisition of perfective and imperfective aspect in L3 Spanish among German-speaking learners? Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics 8(1): 67–83.

Flynn S, Foley C, and Vinnitskaya I (2004) The cumulative enhancement model for language acquisition: Comparing adults’ and children’s patterns of development in first, second and third language acquisition. International Journal of Multilingualism 1: 3–17.

Foote R (2009) Transfer in L3 acquisition: The role of typology. In: Leung YI (ed.) Third Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp.89–114.

Gu Q (2022) Telicization in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Linguistics 1–33.

Jin F (2009) Third language acquisition of Norwegian objects: Interlanguage transfer or L1 influence? In: Leung YI (ed.) Third Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp.144–161.

Li CN and Thompson SA (1981) Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Robison RE (1990) Aspectual marking in English interlanguage. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 12: 315–330.

Robison RE (1995) The aspect hypothesis revisited: A cross-sectional study of tense and aspect marking in interlanguage. Applied Linguistics 16(3): 344–370.

Ross C (1995) Temporal and aspectual reference in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 23: 87–135.

Rothman J (2011) L3 syntactic transfer selectivity and typological determinacy: The typological primacy model. Second Language Research 27: 107–127.

Rothman J (2015) Linguistic and cognitive motivation for the typological primacy model of third language (L3) transfer: Considering the role of timing of acquisition and proficiency in the previous languages. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 18(2): 179–190.

Rothman J and Cabrelli Amaro J (2010) What variables condition syntactic transfer: A look at the L3 initial state. Second Language Research 26: 189–218.

Shirai Y and Andersen RW (1995) The acquisition of tense/aspect morphology: A prototype account. Language 71: 743–762.

Shirai Y and Kurono A (1998) The acquisition of Tense‐Aspect marking in Japanese as a second language. Language Learning 48(2): 279–244.

Smith CS (1997) The Parameter of Aspect (2nd edn.). Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Vallerossa F (2021) The role of linguistic typology, target language proficiency and prototypes in learning aspectual contrasts in Italian as additional language. Languages 6: 184.

Vendler Z (1957) Verbs and times. The Philosophical Review 66(2): 143–160.

Salaberry R (2005) Evidence for transfer of knowledge of aspect from L2 Spanish to L3 Portuguese. In: Ayoun D and Salaberry R (eds.) Tense and Aspect in Romance Languages: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives. Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp.179–210.

Sybesma R (2019) Finiteness and Chinese main clauses. International Journal of Chinese Linguistics 6(2): 325–344.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/fls.v4i1.1459
(9 Abstract Views, 7 PDF Downloads)

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2022 Qianping Gu, Muradil Adil