Expert meeting 2

30 November, Utrecht


Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Ravesteijnzaal (1.06)


Time Event/Speaker
10.00 - 11.00 Laura Domínguez (University of Southampton)
11.00 - 12.00 Paz González González (Leiden University)
12.00 - 13.00 Dorota Klimek-Jankowska (University of Wrocław)

Speaker info (bio, abstract, slides)

Laura Domínguez (University of Southampton)

L2 acquisition of aspect: the case of the Spanish Imperfect

Homepage Slides


Paz González González (Leiden University)

Three Germanic L1s under scrutiny. How aspectual interlanguage is influenced by the L1

Homepage Slides

The aim of this talk is to show that the use of grammatical aspect in Spanish as a second language is biased by inherent aspect depending on the learners L1. Three L1s will be taken into consideration: Dutch, English and German. This talk will be a combination of results found in three different studies (González and Quintana, González and Diubalick and Van Dijk and González). They are all three work in progress.

Dorota Klimek-Jankowska (University of Wrocław)

On the processing of grammatical aspect in Polish: Evidence from self-paced reading and eye-tracking experiments

joint research with Anna Czypionka from Constance University, Joanna Błaszczak and Wojciech Witkowski from the University of Wrocław


In this talk, I will present the results of our recent experimental study on the processing of two classes of perfective (simple and semelfactive perfective) and two classes of imperfective (simple and iterative imperfective) verbs in Polish differing in their semantic complexity and semantic markedness. Most of the reported studies focusing on the processing of eventualities in English and German provide evidence that semantically complex events are more costly to process than semantically simple events. For example, Gennari and Poeppel (2003) prove experimentally that semantically complex events such as build, eat, draw take longer to process than states such as love, admire, know. Very little is known about the processing of events in languages like Polish which express event structure with overt perfective/imperfective morphology. What constitutes a challenge in studying the processing of grammatical aspect in Polish is that perfective and imperfective aspectual forms differ not only in their semantic complexity but also in their semantic markedness. The nature and the timing of the processing of grammatical aspect in Polish depending on these two factors is not clear. In order to get a better understanding of how and when semantic complexity and semantic markedness affect the processing of eventualities in Polish, we conducted two experiments: a self-paced reading and an eye-tracking during reading experiment. Most of our results indicate that both semantic complexity and semantic markedness influence the processing of grammatical aspect in Polish but they do so at different points in time. Semantic complexity appears to influence processing locally on the verb. By contrast, semantic markedness of aspectual forms does not need to have an immediate effect during processing. If the aspectual semantics of a verb is underspecified (unmarked), comprehenders attempt to resolve this underspecification already on the verb.  However, in the absence of earlier meaning cues resolving this underspecification, they delay the interpretation of semantically underspecified aspectual forms to the end of the sentence. Our findings lend support to the partial commitment view of aspect processing proposed by Pickering, McElree, Frisson, Chen and Traxler (2006).