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LINGUIST List 18.3142

Fri Oct 26 2007

Diss: Applied Ling/Lang Acq: Dziag: 'The Aspect Hypothesis, Prototy...'

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        1.    monika dziag, The Aspect Hypothesis, Prototype Theory and The Acquisition of The Present Perfect by Polish Learners of English as a Foreign Language


Message 1: The Aspect Hypothesis, Prototype Theory and The Acquisition of The Present Perfect by Polish Learners of English as a Foreign Language
Date: 25-Oct-2007
From: monika dziag <monika.dziagwp.pl>
Subject: The Aspect Hypothesis, Prototype Theory and The Acquisition of The Present Perfect by Polish Learners of English as a Foreign Language
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Institution: University of Reading
Program: School of Languages and European Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Monika Dziag

Dissertation Title: The Aspect Hypothesis, Prototype Theory and The Acquisition of The Present Perfect by Polish Learners of English as a Foreign Language

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
                            Polish (pol)

Dissertation Director:
Michael Garman

Dissertation Abstract:

There have been numerous studies comparing the process of acquisition of
past morphology with the predictions made by the Aspect Hypothesis (known
also as the Primacy of Aspect Hypothesis). These studies have continued to
provide positive evidence for the Hypothesis' observations. Nevertheless,
evidence to the contrary also exists.

This dissertation investigates the acquisition of the English Present
Perfect morphology within the framework of the Aspect Hypothesis with the
Prototype Theory as causal explanation (Andersen and Shirai 1994, 1996).

Theoretical discussion is complemented by a small scale cross-sectional
pilot study, in which the hypothesized Present Perfect continuum is put to
test.

The results of the study lend general support to the Aspect Hypothesis in
that initially Polish learners tend to associate the Present Perfect
morphology with achievement and accomplishment verbs (anteriority being the
most salient feature of the meaning of the Perfect). However, the learners
have been found not to follow the proposed prototype continuum. Due to the
fact that the study was subject to various limitations and constraints,
only tentative explanations of this fact can be put forward. Firstly,
statistical frequency may not be the source of the prototype. Second,
statistical frequency may not be the most important factor constraining the
process of acquisition. Finally, the proposed prototype continuum itself
may be inaccurate. Further studies should be conducted in order to
satisfactorily explain the findings.





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