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Nov 22, 2015 06:13

to a L2 context poses many doubts and questions.
The attempts to borne out the Aspect Hypothesis in L2 contexts have been partially rejected by the research of Robinson (1990) Rodhe (1996) and Finger (2000, 2001) which showed respectively the use of the “ing” form for stative verb, indiscriminately with atelic and telic verb, and with accomplishment verbs. Other incongruences are reported with the use of past tense. Always in Finger there was found a tendency for advanced level students to use “ed” more with telic than atelic verbs which is the opposite of Aspect Hypothesis predictions as it states that it only happen to beginner level learners. Finally Kempt (1984) reported the use of “ed” with stative verb in a class of English L2 Japanese learners.
On the basis of these studies, Klein Stoyneshka Adams Rose Pugach and Solt (2003) developed the Perceptual Salience Hypothesis which takes into account the particular aspect of the phonology of past tense in English. According to this hypothesis “A second language learner will perceive and produce a syllabic grammatical suffix more accurately than an a non-syllabic grammatical suffix because a syllable is more perceptually salient than a consonant cluster.” Pursuant to the results of the experiment presented in this study the syllabic suffix [id] is more perceptually salient than [d] and [t] as in the schema below:
Syllabic: [id] as in waited + PERCEPTUAL
Non-syllabic: [d] as in closed
[t] as in walked - PERCEPTUAL
This study showed has the merit of underlying how a good teaching strategy should take into account L2 learners “perceptual deficit” which is their difficulty in perceiving (and producing) the non-syllabic allomorphs of past tense with no regards of the level of proficiency of the learners.
Another interesting critic to AE comes from Haznedar study (2006). She observed a kid in a nursery school environment and collected data from her spontaneous speech and found that an important implication of AE wasn`t present in the data she collected. According to her, AE would imply that defective verbs are acquired in a late stage to the respect of the regular ones but this was proved wrong by the data. In fact, they showed a high percentage of correct output with the copula be and auxiliary do, used in early stage.
Even though Haznedar`s claim has been proved to not be completely right by the comments made by Costello and Shirai (2007) who argue that a late stage of defective verb acquisition is not part of the Aspect Hypothesis, her article is still important regarding the teaching implication that it may be entailed to. Other studies that proved AE to be not reliable relatively to L2 learning context aimed that this theory reflect the distributional bias of English verbs and that a strong correlation between tense and lexical aspect has to be completely proven yet. In the following section this question will be further analyzed.