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Academic Paper


Title: The Acquisition of Tense in English: Distinguishing child second language from first language and specific language impairment
Author: Johannes Paradis
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Alberta
Author: Mabel L. Rice
Institution: University of Kansas
Author: Martha Crago
Institution: Dalhousie University
Author: Janet Marquis
Institution: University of Kansas
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Morphology; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study reports on a comparison of the use and knowledge of tense-marking morphemes in English by first language (L1), second language (L2), and specific language impairment (SLI) children. The objective of our research was to ascertain whether the L2 children's tense acquisition patterns were similar or dissimilar to those of the L1 and SLI groups, and whether they would fit an (extended) optional infinitive profile, or an L2-based profile, for example, the missing surface inflection hypothesis. Results showed that the L2 children had a unique profile compared with their monolingual peers, which was better characterized by the missing surface inflection hypothesis. At the same time, results reinforce the assumption underlying the (extended) optional infinitive profile that internal constraints on the acquisition of tense could be a component of L1 development, with and without SLI.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 29, Issue 4.

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