Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-7245
  • E-ISSN: 2211-7253



The aim of this work is to investigate the use of Spanish Preterit and Imperfect by English speaking learners of L2 Spanish following the Lexical Aspect Hypothesis (Andersen & Shirai, 1996Díaz, Bel, & Bekiou, 2008Domínguez, Tracy-Ventura, Arche, Mitchell, & Miles, 2013González, 20032013Montrul & Slabakova, 2002). The article studies how aspectual features bias Preterit and Imperfect in initial, intermediate and advanced learners. The results, based on an approximate binomial distribution analysis, confirm that Preterit is the preferred past, which supports L1 transfer (Salaberry & Shirai, 2002). The results also verify that Preterit is biased by dynamicity and punctuality at all levels. Telicity effects come into play in intermediate levels, while punctuality effects are reinforced in advanced levels. Stativity influences the use of Imperfect in intermediate level, which reveals that there are differences in the bias effect regarding proficiency level.

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