Tense as a clinical marker in English L2 acquisition with language delay/impairment
This study examines the use of tense- and non-tense-marking morphology over time by a group of English L2 children with typical language development and two English L2 children with language delay/impairment. The aim was to ascertain whether the Extended Optional Infinitive (EOI) account characterized the acquisition patterns displayed by the affected children, suggesting that tense functions as a clinical marker in impaired L2 as well as L1 English. Results showed that the two children with language delay/impairment displayed a hybrid pattern between typical child L2 English and L1-based EOI characteristics. The difference in age of English acquisition onset between L1 and L2 is put forward as a potential explanation for the dissimilar patterns between L1 and L2 impaired acquisition.