You are here: Home Publications There is no prime for time: the missing link between form and concept of progressive aspect in L2 production

There is no prime for time: the missing link between form and concept of progressive aspect in L2 production

Gerwien, J., & Flecken, M. (2015). There is no prime for time: the missing link between form and concept of progressive aspect in L2 production. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18(5), 561-587. doi:10.1080/13670050.2015.1027144.
The acquisition of linguistic structures that require perspective-taking at the level of message generation is challenging. We investigate use of progressive aspect in L2 event encoding, using a sentence priming paradigm. We focus on Dutch, in which use of progressive aspect is optional. The progressive consists of a prepositional phrase (‘aan het,’ at-the), plus a verbal infinitive. We ask, to what extent L2 speakers, in comparison to native speakers, show priming effects in relation to form (prepositional phrase) or conceptual (progressive aspect) prime sentences. In native Dutch speakers we find a priming effect for the ‘progressive prime,’ compared to a ‘neutral prime’ (aspectually neutral event description). In L2 speakers this effect was absent. For the form prime, no priming effects were obtained in native speakers, rather, we find evidence for a partial blocking effect in L2 speakers. Results suggest that the strength of the link between concept and form of progressive aspect differs in native and L2 speakers. Specific factors contributed to the L2 findings, e.g., level of L2 proficiency and degree of L2 exposure. We conclude that (1) the conceptual basis of grammatical aspect can be primed in native speakers, and (2) in L2 speakers, access to conceptual information is less automatized.
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Marjolein Scherphuis