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Tense and Aspect in Second Language Acquisition: Form, Meaning, and Use



Tense and Aspect in Second Language Acquisition: Form, Meaning, and Use

Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig, Richard F. Young (Series Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-631-22149-4 January 2000 Wiley-Blackwell 508 Pages


This book explores the association of form and meaning in the acquisition of tense and aspect by adult learners of nine target languages. The book provides a survey and synthesis of studies from five perspectives: meaning-oriented approaches, acquisitional sequences, the aspect hypothesis, the discourse hypothesis, and the effect of instruction
Chapter 1. The Study of Time Talk in Second Language Acquisition.

Early Studies of Verbal Morphology.

Phonetic Constraints.

Investigating the Expression of Temporality.

Methods of Research and Analysis.

Overview of the Book.

Chapter 2. Meaning-Oriented Studies of Temporality.

Expressing Temporality.

Pragmatic Means for Expressing Temporality.

Lexical Means for Expressing Temporality.

Comprehension of Verbal Morphology.

Limitations of Lexical Expression.

Morphological Means for Expressing Temporality.

Multiple Means for Expressing Temporality.

Two Examples.

Study 1: Adverbials and the Acquisition of Simple Past Morphology.

Study 2: adverbials and Morphology in Reverse-Order Reports.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter 3. The Emergence of Verbal Morphology.

Tense-Aspect Morphology in European Languages.

Tense-Aspect Morphology Related to past in English.

The acquisition of Tense-Aspect Morphology.

Longitudinal Studies of the Acquisition of Tense-Aspect Morphology.

Cross-Sectional Studies of the Acquisition of Tense-aspect Morphology.

A Study of the Emergence to Tense-Aspect Morphology Related to Past in English.


Analysis and Results.

Comparing Meaning-Oriented and Form-Oriented.


Chapter Summary.

Chapter 4. The Aspect Hypothesis.

The Aspect Hypothesis.

In Primary Language Acquisition.

In Secondary Language Acquisition.

Grammatical and lexical Aspect.

Investigations of the Aspect Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition.

The Spread of Perfective Past.

The Spread of Imperfective Past.

The Spread of Progressive.

Overgeneralization of Progressive in States.

Sample Study: the Distribution of Verbal Morphology in Learner Narratives.

Assessing the Influence of Lexical Aspect Challenges to the Aspect Hypothesis.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter 5. The Role of Discourse.

The Interlanguage Discourse Hypothesis.

Narrative Analysis.

Studies of L2 Temporality and Narrative Structure.

A Cross-Sectional Study of Tense-Aspect in L2 Narratives.

Comparing Theoretical Frameworks.

Empirical Evidence in Support of the Discourse and Aspect Hypotheses.

Integrating the Analysis.

Other Discourse Contexts.

Realis and Irrealis: The Imaginary in Narrative.

Personal and Impersonal Narrative: The Case of “Personalized” Narratives.

Conversational and Elicited Narratives.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter 6. The Influence of Instruction.

Experimental Studies of the Effect of Instruction.

An Observational Study of the Effect of instruction.



The Effect of instruction.

A Comparison of instructed and Uninstructed Learners.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter 7. Past, Present, and Future.

Meaning-Oriented Studies.

Acquisitional Sequences.

Aspect Studies.

Discourse Studies.

The Influence of instruction.

Concluding Remarks.



"The author has done an excellent job in covering with scope and depth of the acquistion of tense and aspect in second language learning and can be said to have achieved the three goals identified at the beginning of the book, namely surveying the field, explicating methodological issues, and providing a synthesis." Applied Linguistics

"Bardovi-Harlig's substantial volume, bringing together over two decades of research, is a model of thoroughness, informative research synthesis and readability. Aimed primarily at the research community, this comprehensive yet accessible treatment of an important area of second language acquisition research will also be of interest to second/foreign language curriculum developers and teachers." The Canadian Modern Language Review

"This book is certain to have a major influence on this very active field of inquiry. There is NO book or any other publication that brings together between two covers the diverse studies that have been done on second language acquisition of tense and aspect. And Bardovi-Harlig does an excellent job of providing a comprehensive unified presentation of such diverse research." Professor Roger Andersen of UCLA.

"The review is comprehensive, accurate and highly readable. Particularly important for the field is its contribution in bringing together different areas of L2 tense-aspect research in one accessible monograph, which presents a comprehensive picture of how L2 learners acquire temporality. I do not know of any other area of SLA where the total picture of acquisition has been described so comprehensively. The monograph will be a landmark in SLA research." Professor Yasuhiro Shirai of Cornell University.