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Aspectual perspective taking in event construal in L1 and L2 Dutch

Van Beek, G., Flecken, M., & Starren, M. (2013). Aspectual perspective taking in event construal in L1 and L2 Dutch. International review of applied linguistics, 51(2), 199-227. doi:10.1515/iral-2013-0009.
The present study focuses on the role of grammatical aspect in event construal and its function in encoding the specificity of an event. We investigate whether advanced L2 learners (L1 German) acquire target-like patterns of use of progressive aspect in Dutch, a language in which use of aspect depends on specific situation types. We analyze use of progressive markers and patterns in information selection, relating to specific features of agents or actions in dynamic event scenes. L2 event descriptions are compared with L1 Dutch and L1 German data. The L2 users display the complex situation-dependent patterns of use of aspect in Dutch, but they do not select the aspectual viewpoint (aan he construction) to the same extent as native speakers. Moreover, the encoding of specificity of the events (mentioning of specific agent and action features) reflects L1 transfer, as well as target-like performance in specific domains.
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