Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Emanuel Bylund (1): Ultimate attainment of event segmentation and temporal structuring patterns in speakers of L2 Swedish. VIAL. Number 8/2011: 28-53.


This study investigates ultimate attainment of patterns of segmentation and temporal structuring of events in L2 speakers. The participant group consists of 35 L1 Spanish – L2 Swedish adult bilinguals living in Sweden, with ages of L2 acquisition ranging from 1 to 19 years. Fifteen native speakers of Swedish and 15 native speakers of Spanish were engaged as controls. The participants provided online-retellings of a film excerpt. The results showed that the L2 speakers resorted to an event segmentation strategy with an intermediate degree of event resolution, which fell in between the mono lingual Spanish high degree of resolution and the monolingual Swedish low degree of resolution. Regarding temporal structuring patterns, the results showed that the L2 speakers converged with the Swedish-speaking controls, linking the events by means of anaphoric adverbials (i.e., “x then y”). There was no effect of age of L2 acquisition on the L2 speakers’ degree of conformity with Swedish native speaker behaviour.

Keywords: Bilingualism, Event conceptualization, Second language acquisition, Swedish, Ultimate attainment.

(1) Univerity of Western Cape, South Africa./Stockholm University, Sweeden

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