The acquisition of tense and aspect: Evidence from Portuguese and Spanish


This paper seeks to understand how the categories tense and aspect are represented in the mental grammars of typically-developing children. Past work has found that English- and French-learning children as old as 6 years of age often use tense marking to convey aspect, conflating the two categories. In contrast, young Spanish speakers appear to treat the two categories as distinct by age 3. We confirm that native learners of Spanish dissociate tense and aspect by 3 years of age and suggest that they may even do so as early as 2;5 or before. We find similar results in Portuguese. We further demonstrate, in line with past work, that the use of aspect marking at this young age might be driven, in part, by differences in lexical telicity.



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Biografia do Autor

Rodrigo Altair Morato, Puc Minas

Postgraduate Program in Letters, Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais - CAPES Scholarship

Jayden Ziegler, Harvard University

Department of Psychology, Harvard University


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Como Citar
Morato, R. A., & Ziegler, J. (2018). The acquisition of tense and aspect: Evidence from Portuguese and Spanish. Cadernos CESPUC De Pesquisa Série Ensaios, (33), 36-49.