The development of "coverbal" usage of the verb aller in L2 learners
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This article reports on the development of a particular TAM (tense, aspect, modality) sequence in L2 French (FL2): aller + infinitive. Researchers studying the acquisition of FL2 regularly point out the frequency of the structure "aller + infinitive" in the learners' interlanguage from a relatively early acquisitional stage onwards (Bartning & Schlyter 2004). The sequence in question is nonetheless often (too) rapidly identified with the "futur périphrastique" or "futur proche" (cf. Bartning & Schlyter 2004; Bassano 2001; Starren 2001), which brings the researchers to assume that the "future périphrastique" is productive at an early stage of the acquisitional process, even much sooner than the use of the "futur simple", approximately at the same developmental stage as the emergence of the "passé compose" (Bartning & Schlyter 2004; Devitt 1993). In this study we will analyse the quantitative development of the sequence aller + infinitive in the oral productions of three groups of Dutch-speaking learners of FL2, as well as the semantic value(s) expressed by this sequence. Does it really (only) express the future, from an early acquistional stage onwards? The FL2 data will afterwards be compared to the oral productions of a control group of native speakers.