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French second language learners’ acquisition of the sequence aller + infinitive: Movement, aspect and tense

Marie-Eve Michot and Michel Pierrard

Abstract

This article reports on the development of a particular TAM (tense, aspect, modality) sequence in L2 French (FL2): aller+infinitive. Studies of the acquisition of FL2 regularly point to the frequency of the structure “aller+ infinitive” in the learners’ interlanguage from a relatively early acquisitional stage onwards. The sequence in question is nonetheless often too readily identified with the futur périphrastique or futur proche, which leads researchers to assume that the futur périphrastique is productive at an early stage of the acquisitional process, even much sooner than the futur simple and approximately at the same developmental stage as the emergence of the passé composé. In this study we analyze the quantitative development of the sequence aller+infinitive in the oral productions of three groups of Dutch-speaking learners of FL2, as well as the semantic value(s) expressed by this sequence. Does it really (only) express the future, from an early acquisitional stage onwards? The FL2 data are also compared to the oral productions of a native speaker benchmark group.

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Published Online: 2017-9-1
Published in Print: 2017-9-26

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