Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-9477
  • E-ISSN: 2542-9485
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In this paper, we examine the narrowing of register variation in the domain of verbal aspect in the production of aspect by two different age groups of Greek heritage speakers (HSs), adolescents and adults, which we compared to their monolingual peers. We first identify a previously undocumented case of register variation for the expression of perfective aspect in Greek. Both HSs and monolingual speakers have at their disposal synthetic and analytic forms, the latter built on the basis of light verbs, to express grammatical aspect, and specifically perfective aspect. While monolinguals make use of this alternation to signal register variation, with periphrastic constructions used in informal settings and in the oral mode, HSs behave differently. Both adolescent and adult HSs generalize periphrastic constructions across formal and informal communicative situations, thus showing a case of register variation narrowing. The fact that periphrastic constructions are associated with perfective aspect is due to aspect levelling: HSs overgeneralize the use of the perfective aspect.


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