image of Predictors of accuracy in L2 Spanish preterit-imperfect production
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Few studies have considered the multitude of factors that influence learners’ accuracy of past tense-aspect use in L2 Spanish. The present study fills this gap by examining course-level, task-modality, obligatory tense-aspect, and verb frequency and regularity as predictors of English-dominant learners’ accuracy in contexts that require the Spanish preterit or imperfect. Learner narrations from the COWS-L2H and CEDEL2 corpora were analyzed. Generalized mixed-effects models reveal that obligatory tense-aspect and task-modality are significant predictors of accuracy and that frequency is only a significant predictor in imperfect-obligatory contexts for students from the same Spanish program. Data from one Spanish program is interpreted as providing partial support for the Default Past Tense Hypothesis (DPTH). The findings add complexity to our understanding of the route of preterit-imperfect acquisition, showcasing plateauing effects and highlighting students’ use of the present as a default form.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: L2 Spanish ; preterit-imperfect ; tense-aspect acquisition ; L2 grammar
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