The Role of Linguistic Context in the Acquisition of the Pluperfect : Polish Learners of Swedish as a Foreign Language

by Zielonka, Bronis?awa

Abstract (Summary)
This work consists of two parts: the theoretical and the experimental. In the theoretical part, some general and some language specific theories of tense, aspect and aktionsart are presented, and the temporal systems of Swedish and Polish are compared. The theoretical part is not a mere review of the literature on the subject. The comparison of the descriptions of aspect and aktionsart by Slavic researchers with the universal theory of Smith (1991) and (1977) and with description of aktionsart in Swedish in Teleman et al. (1999) has allowed me for some important observations as to the nature of the long-lasting dispute about the differences between aspect and aktionsart.The experimental part is a cross-sectional study on the role of the linguistic context on the acquisition of the pluperfect by Polish learners Swedish as a foreign language. The informants are university students studying Swedish as a foreign language. The language samples were collected by means of two types of tests: gap-filling and translation from Polish. Twelve linguistic factors, each divided into two subgroups, were hypothesised to have affected the correct use of the pluperfect. All those hypotheses as to which of the subgroups may inhibit and which may facilitate the correct use of the pluperfect are grounded in linguistic theories, i.e. presented in the form of linguistically-based discussions as to what kind of effect, facilitative or inhibiting, each of the linguistic factors may have had, and why. The effect of those factors upon the correct use of the pluperfect has been tested by means of a step-wise multiple regression which measured the simultaneous effect of each factor upon the correct use of the pluperfect. This method has confirmed the facilitative effect of the following six linguistic factors: intrasentential indication of topic time (subordinate clause), unbounded verb indicating topic time, agentive meaning of the target verb, specifying subordinate clause, statal pluperfect and location of the time of action of pluperfect clause outside the temporal frame of narrative plot.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Languages and linguistics; Scandinavian languages; aspect; aktionsart; tense; pluperfect; indication of topic time; time of action; linguistic context; target verb; linguistic factors inhibiting/facilitating acquisition; stepwise multiple regression; partial effect; order of acquisition; sequence of acquisition.


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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