Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: The Aspect Hypothesis, Prototype Theory and The Acquisition of The Present Perfect by Polish Learners of English as a Foreign Language Add Dissertation
Author: Monika Dziag Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Reading, School of Languages and European Studies
Completed in: 2006
Linguistic Subfield(s): Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Michael Garman

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

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.