Advertisement

Systematic Variability in Second-Language Tense Marking

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Burt, M., & Kiparsky, C. (1972). The gooficon: A repair manual for English. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  2. Dickerson, L. (1975). The learner’s interlanguage as a system of variable rules. TESOL Quarterly, 9, 401–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dickerson, W. (1976). The psycholinguistic unity of language learning and language change. Language Learning, 26, 215–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dulay, H., & Burt, M. (1974). Natural sequences in child second language acquisition. Language Learning, 26, 215–232.Google Scholar
  5. Ellis, R. (1987). Interlanguage variability in narrative discourse: Style shifting in the use of the past tense. Studies in Second Langauge Acquisition, 9, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Godfrey, D. L. (1980). A discourse analysis of tense in adult ESL monologues. In D. E. Larsen-Freeman (Ed.), Discourse analysis in second language research, (pp. 92–110 ). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  7. Hatfield, D. (1986). Tense marking in the spoken English of Vietnamese refugees. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Georgetown University.Google Scholar
  8. Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  9. Kumpf, L. (1984). Temporal systems and universality in interlanguage: A case study. In F. Eckman, O. Bell, & O. Nelson (Eds.), Universals of second language acquisition, (pp. 132–143 ). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  10. Labov, W. (1969). Contraction, deletion, and inherent variability of the English copula. Language, 45, 715–762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Labov, W. (1972). Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia; University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  12. Larsen-Freeman, D. E., (Ed.). (1980). Discourse analysis in second language research. Rowley, MA: Newbury Press.Google Scholar
  13. Riddle, E. (1986). The meaning and discourse function of the past tense in English. TESOL Quarterly, 20, 267–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wolfram, W. (1978). Contrastive linguistics and social lectology. Language Learning, 28, 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Wolfram, W. (1985). Variability in tense marking: A case for the obvious. Language Learning, 35, 229–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Wolfram, W., & Fasold, R. W. (1974). The study of social dialects in American English. Englewood-Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  17. Wolfram, W., & Hatfield, D. (1984). Tense marking in second language learning: Patterns of spoken and written English in a Vietnamese community. Final Report, National Institute of Education Grant no. NIE-G-83–0035.Google Scholar
  18. Wolfram, W., & Hatfield, D. (1986). Interlanguage fads and linguistic reality: The case of tense marking. In D. Tannen & J. E. Alatis (Eds.), GURT ’85 languages and linguistics: The interdependence of theory, data, and application, (pp. 17–34 ). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations