The influence of lexical aspect on non-target like uses of English progressive verb forms

Mike Tiittanen


This study sought to determine if lexical aspect would influence the oversuppliance of progressive English verb forms in L2 obligatory contexts for the use of the simple past tense in two oral tasks, namely, a film retell task and an interview questions task. It also sought to determine if the L1 of the ESL learner participants, Mandarin and Tamil, would interact with lexical aspect in the oversuppliance of the progressive verb forms. The results of this study revealed that both L1 groups used primarily activities and accomplishments with the oversupplied progressive verb forms on both tasks. In addition, there appeared to be L1 influence in this oversuppliance as only the Tamil learners had a greater proportion of accomplishments than achievements and a greater proportion of activities than states for the oversupplied progressive forms on both tasks.


simple past tense; progressive; lexical aspect; ESL; L1 influence; Mandarin; Tamil; interlanguage

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