Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Lexical Aspect too is learned: Data from online processing, actional diagnostics and contingency-based analysis of early perfectives in L2 Italian

  • Stefano Rastelli (Università di Pavia)
Monday 4 June 2018
Reuvensplaats 3-4
2311 BE Leiden
1.22 (LLRC room)


A strong version of the Aspect Hypothesis (AH) claims that a L2 learner's knowledge of Lexical Aspect (the telic vs atelic divide) paves the way and modulates the acquisition of the Tense-Aspect system. In this talk I argue that (a) aspectual diagnostics designed for native speakers' competence (and widely utilized in AH studies) fail to uncover whether learners know whether a predicate is telic or atelic; (2) contingency-learning based on congruence between features 'telic' and 'perfective' does not seem influence the emergence of the perfective morpheme in L2 Italian initial interlanguages and (c) beginner and intermediate L2 Italian learners are insensitive to the effects of the Imperfective Paradox. Altogether, these findings suggest that all aspectual categories in the second language are in re-construction and that Lexical Aspect too is learned.


Stefano Rastelli is associate professor of Second Language Acquisition at Università di Pavia (Italy). His areas of interests are: Acquisition and Processing of Aspect, Statistical Learning, Neurolinguistics and SLA.

Recent publications

Benati, A. & Rastelli, S. (2017). “The teaching and acquisition interface in neurocognition research”, Second Language Research, https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658317732616
Rastelli, S (2016). “Neurolinguisics and Second Language Teaching: A view from the crossroads”, Second Language Research, DOI: 10.1177/0267658316681377
Rastelli, S. (2016). “A quantum cognition approach to the Study of Second Language Acquisition”, Journal of Cognitive Science, 17/2, 229-262.
Rastelli, S. & Zuanazzi, A. (2015). “Different effects of syntactic knowledge, associative memory and working memory in L2 processing of filler-gap dependencies. A cross-modal picture-sentence study on L2 chinese learners of italian”. In E. Aboh, A. Hulk, J. Schaeffer and P. Sleeman (a cura di), Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory (RRLT), pp. 67-82, Amsterdam-Philadelphia, John Benjamins.
Rastelli, S.(2014). Discontinuity in Second Language Acquisition: The switch between Statistical and Grammatical Learning. Bristol-Buffalo, Multilingual Matters.

This website uses cookies.  More information.