Acquiring Geographically-Variable Norms of Use: The Case of the Present Perfect in Mexico and Spain
Kimberly L. Geeslin, Stephen Fafulas, and Matthew Kanwit
205-220 (complete paper
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The current investigation connects the study of the L2 acquisition of variable structures to the ever-growing body of research on the role of study abroad in the process of language learning, adding evidence of the specific changes that take place in learner grammars during a stay in the target environment. The analysis is based on results from a group of 46 English-speaking learners of Spanish who participated in intensive seven-week immersion programs in two distinct locations, Valencia, Spain and San Luis Potosí, Mexico. At the beginning and end of their stay in the target community, learners completed a written contextualized questionnaire designed to examine the selection of preterit and present perfect forms in past-time contexts. The data indicate that the learners showed sensitivity to particular speech community norms in each region, as demonstrated through the modification of the linguistic constraints on selection of the present perfect forms.
Selected Proceedings of the 15th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Chad Howe, Sarah E. Blackwell, and Margaret Lubbers Quesada
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