Beyond the aspect hypothesis: tense-aspect development in advanced L2 French

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Aspect Hypothesis (AH) claims that the association of any verb category (lexical aspect) with any grammatical aspect (perfective or imperfective) constitutes the endpoint of acquisition. The present book evaluates the explanatory power of the Aspect Hypothesis for the acquisition of French past tenses, which constitutes a serious stumbling block for foreign learners, even at the highest levels of proficiency. The present research applies the Aspect Hypothesis to the production of 61 Anglophone 'advanced learners' in a tutored environment. In so doing, it tests concurrent explanations, including the influence of the input, the influence of chunking, and the hypothesis of cyclic development. It discusses the cotextual and contextual factors that still provoke «non-native glitches» at the final stage of the Aspect Hypothesis. The book shows that the AH fails to account for the complex phenomenon of past tense development, as it adopts a local and linear approach.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherPeter Lang
Number of pages259
ISBN (Print)9783039102815
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameContemporary Studies in Descriptive Linguistics
PublisherPeter Lang


  • French language
  • theoretical description of French past tenses
  • grammatical aspect
  • lexical aspect
  • French as a foreign language
  • corpus analysis
  • French


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