Systematic Variability in Second-Language Tense Marking

  • Walt Wolfram
Part of the Topics in Language and Linguistics book series (TLLI)


The absence of morphologically marked tense in sentences such as Last year we visit my friend or Yesterday he is sick is among the most prominent characteristics of second-language acquisition (SLA) studies in English. Its status as an interlanguage structure is secure (Burt & Kiparsky, 1972; Dulay & Burt, 1974; Krashen, 1982), and its pedagogical and descriptive significance is unchallenged (Riddle, 1986). Regardless of source language background, it is a feature to be expected in SLA in English.


Tense Form Verb Type Irregular Form Regular Form Linguistic Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walt Wolfram
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of the District of ColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Applied LinguisticsUSA

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