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  • 1.
    Abdollahian Barough, Somaje
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Event conceptualisation and aspect in L2 English and Persian: An application of the Heidelberg–Paris model2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The present project investigates the impact of the grammaticalised progressive on event conceptualisation in English and Persian. It applies the Heidelberg–Paris framework using single event descriptions for analysis at the sentence level and story re-narrations at the discourse level. The empirical data test the hypothesis that the progressive has an impact on information selection and discourse structuring in event conceptualisation in terms of infrequent endpoint encodings and language-specific patterns of perspective-taking in structuring discourse. Languages lacking the grammaticalised progressive clearly show different effects.

    There are system-based similarities/differences in aspect between English and Persian. They have the progressive in common but differ with respect to the imperfective–perfective distinction. This difference is manifested as an increase in the use of the progressive in English. In contrast, the Persian system with two aspectual non-past forms which are possible for expressions of ongoingness leads to decreased use of the particular dāštan-progressive.

    The key finding for the single, motion event descriptions is that the dāštan-progressive in Persian shows less frequent endpoint encodings, like in English, as compared to languages lacking the progressive. However, the imperfective bare mi-form is associated with frequent endpoints while English shows no such association because the progressive must always be used.

    In narratives, differences emerge again due to the different typology. When the uses of the progressives in re-narrations are differentiated for clause type, the progressive in English is used equally in main and sub-clauses, though more dominantly in sub-clauses in Persian. These sub-results speak about differences in perspective-taking between these L1s.

    The analysis of the complexities involved in aspect establishes that the bare mi-form in Persian can denote ongoingness in cases where the progressive is obligatory in English as it has no optional verb form. Consequently, the typological difference of the absence/presence of the imperfective–perfective categories leads to a significant increase in the use of the progressive in English, which results in a cross-linguistically different, and L1-specific, patterns of perspective-taking in the narrative discourse in English and Persian. Thus, despite the fact that the L1s have the progressive aspect, their principles of use differ as they are dependent on the relevant aspectual system.

    Relating the results to linguistic relativity and cross-linguistic influence, the study shows that owing to the grammatical category of the progressive in common, event conceptualisation is similar in English and Persian in terms of infrequent endpoint encodings in single motion event descriptions, despite the overall typological difference. However, L1-related influence on the principles of use of the progressive in L2 English is considerable in the narrative discourse of the advanced L2 users of English as they seemingly proceed from the principles of use in L1 Persian towards those in L1 English.

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  • 2.
    Abdollahian Barough, Somaje
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Perspectivation in narratives in Persian L2 English2011In: EUROSLA 21, 21st Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association, Stockholm University, 8-10 September 2011: Book of Abstracts, 2011, p. 216-216Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 3.
    Abdollahian Barough, Somaje
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Reflections on Persian Grammar Developments in Persian Linguistic Scholarship I2017Other (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Abdollahian Barough, Somaje
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Temporal frames of reference in Persian L2 English narrations: A reflection of perspectivation in the L1 or the L2?2013In: EuroSLA 23, 23st Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association, Amsterdam University, 28-31 August 2013: Book of Abstracts, 2013, p. 24-24Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The present study investigates L1 influence on the structuring of events in adult second language acquisition, focusing on temporal perspectivation in film re-tellings by very advanced L2 speakers of English with L1 Persian. The analysis focuses on contrasts in perspectivation with regard to the role of grammaticalised temporal structures of the speaker’s L1, which provides specific means of temporal perspectivation in event representations that differ from English. When organising information for expression in a story-telling task in the L2, grammaticalised L1 features can result in L1-influenced, temporal relations between events that advance the story line, showing transfer as well as possible L2-specific patterns (Carroll, von Stutterheim and Nüse, 2004). Such L1 influence has been established in cross-linguistic analyses of the verbalisation of perceptual input in Germanic, Romance, Semitic, and Slavic languages by the Heidelberg group. The current investigation replicates an analysis of retellings of a film clip by von Stutterheim and Lambert (2005) and Carroll and Lambert (2006), involving an Iranian language, Persian, as L1.

    While progressivity is a prominent feature of the temporal frame in film retellings in English, language change in Persian has led to the following changes for this grammatical category: the conventional mi-prefixed imperfective retains progressivity, while a new periphrastic progressive presents an alternative to this form, along with progressive constructions with verbal nouns.

    The critical results will be retrieved from a quantitative analysis of the L1 Persian data indicating how much the periphrastic progressive is grammaticalised in contrast to the conventional imperfective. Also, a qualitative analysis of the Persian L2 English data identifies the temporal frame used in sequencing events, and compares this with L1 speakers of Persian and English. All three groups of speakers (N=30, in each) were asked to carry out the same task, i.e. retelling of a silent film lasting approximately ten minutes. Finally, the relative distances between the frames of temporal representation in the retellings of Persian advanced learners of L2 English and the two groups of L1 speakers shed light on the way the learners deal with aspectual distinctions in systems that differ typologically and the complexity for the learner. The study thus identifies the role of L1-influenced preferences in the expression of temporal relations in this advanced L2 English learner language with its implications for second language acquisition.

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