The Perceptions of the Japanese Imperfective Aspect Marker –Teiru among Native Speakers and L2 Learners of Japanese
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The Japanese imperfective aspect marker –teiru is one of the most widely researched tense/aspect markers because of its multiple semantic functions. It has been claimed that the –teiru form can describe two main aspectual meanings, progressive and resultative, depending on the lexical aspect of the attached verb. The present study aims to empirically investigate native speakers’ interpretations of the –teiru meaning with different verb and sentence types through a judgment test. It compares them with the predicted semantic categories from the previous studies, which based their conclusion upon introspective analysis, as well as perceptions of L2 Japanese learners. The results suggest that overall perceptional patterns are consistent with predicted descriptions but also that interpretations of the meaning are flexible to some extent. As for learners’ perceptions, the results indicate that L2 learners develop progressive semantic processing in Japanese faster than resultative semantic processing in Japanese.