Aspect and the Interpretation of Motion Verbs in L2 Greek

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This study examines the role of aspect in L2 acquisition within the framework of the Interpretability Hypothesis (Tsimpli 2003; Hawkins and Hattori 2006). Aspect in Greek is a grammaticalized, interpretable feature affecting the argument structure and the telic/atelic interpretation of manner-of-motion verbs. As such, aspect is relevant to the syntax-semantics and the syntaxdiscourse interfaces. Native speakers and L2 learners of Greek were tested on the comprehension and production of manner-of-motion verbs. The results show that aspectual distinctions are appropriately used by L2 learners, at both interfaces. However, unlike native speakers, L2 learners rely more on lexical properties of prepositions and verbs than on grammatical aspect to encode (a)telicity. Moreover, L2 grammars of Greek seem to involve a one-to-one correspondence between perfectivity and telicity.


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