This paper investigates the acquisition of perfective grammatical aspect across verb classes. Italian is a language that encodes perfective in the tense morphology. Lexical aspect such as telicity can be encoded compositionally in the verbs or by lexical insertion. The effect of the telicity encoded compositionally is more easily recognized by children, and it is learned before aspect as it results from lexical insertion. Through the analysis of the spontaneous speech and a production and comprehension experimental task, the process of acquisition of perfective aspect in Italian is sketched. The hypothesis is that the interaction with lexical aspect also influences the acquisition of perfectivity. When lexical aspect is not compositional or structural, it causes a delay in the acquisition of perfectivity.
Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA)
edited by Alyona Belikova, Luisa Meroni, and Mari Umeda
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