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      Discourse Motivations for Some Cognitive Acquisition Principles

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      Studies in Second Language Acquisition
      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Abstract

          This paper offers an alternative interpretation for what has been called the defective tense hypothesis, the primacy of aspect hypothesis, or simply the aspect hypothesis in the literature on first and second language acquisition of tense and aspect. The aspect hypothesis states that first and second language learners will initially be influenced by the inherent semantic aspect of verbs or predicates in the acquisition of tense and aspect markers associated with or affixed to these verbs. Our account focuses on the observation that adult native speakers also appear to adhere to this primacy of inherent semantic aspect in the relative quantitative distribution of tense-aspect markers in their speech. We argue that a small set of cognitive operating principles and the notion of prototypicality account for this behavior in learners. Moreover, we argue that these principles are a consequence of how learners and native speakers alike organize information and their perspectives on it in ongoing discourse.

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          Most cited references61

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              A First Language

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Studies in Second Language Acquisition
                Stud Sec Lang Acq
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0272-2631
                1470-1545
                June 1994
                November 07 2008
                June 1994
                : 16
                : 2
                : 133-156
                Article
                10.1017/S0272263100012845
                e2f744c0-9d8c-4607-867e-da0923224223
                © 1994

                https://www.cambridge.org/core/terms

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