The Acquisition and Processing of Spanish and Portuguese Morphosyntax
  • ISSN 0213-2028
  • E-ISSN: 2254-6774
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We examine the acquisition of the semantic values of the Spanish present tense among second language learners and Spanish heritage speakers, an area so far underexplored. We predict bilingualism effects evidenced in lower patterns of use, acceptance and preference of the simple present with an ongoing meaning, as well as preference for the progressive in ongoing and habitual contexts. Furthermore, we expect the heritage speakers to outperform the L2 learners, and to behave closer to native speakers. In contrast to our expectations, we found overextension of the simple present to ongoing situations and to contexts where the present progressive is preferred. The heritage speakers behaved closer to the native speakers, suggesting age-related effects in language development. We argue for morphosemantic convergence towards the less aspectually restrictive configuration.


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