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date: 19 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Children face several critical challenges in acquiring tense and aspect, one of which concerns the variability in linguistic marking, which encompasses a wide range. Nevertheless, children do use tense and aspect morphosyntax from a young age, and by and large, appear to use it correctly. This article discusses primary-language acquisition and examines specific evidence illustrating the nature of children's competence with temporal semantics, beginning with an analysis of an apparent error (an under-extension) in children's early language production and then proceeding to specific evaluations of their knowledge of Aktionsart (lexical aspect), grammatical aspect, and tense. It also examines aspectual under-extensions in children's language production, theoretical approaches to children's temporal under-extensions, past imperfective forms, and discourse functions of grammatical aspect.

Keywords: grammatical aspect, tense, primary-language acquisition, children, language production, temporal semantics, under-extensions, Aktionsart, past imperfective forms

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