Associating meaning to form in advanced L2 speakers: An investigation into the acquisition of the English present simple and present progressive

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This paper investigates the L2 acquisition of the distributional and interpretational properties of the English present simple (e.g., <i>She works at home) </i>and present progressive (e.g., <i>She is working at home</i>). To test whether advanced L2 learners are successful in assigning target-like meanings to these forms, sixteen advanced L1 French-L2 English and thirteen L1 English informants participated in two oral tasks and a written gap-fill task. Results indicate that these L2 speakers use both forms productively, but show optionality in consistently producing the progressive in appropriate environments. The study considers a permanent L2 deficit arising from L1-L2 parametric differences as a potential source of difficulty in acquiring the target-like interpretations associated with the two forms.


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