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“Semantic Interpretation” task

This computer based interpretation task was specially devised for the SPLLOC 2 project. The aim of the 32-item task was to explore learners’ interpretations of the different possible meanings of Spanish imperfect and preterit.

In each item, two Spanish sentences were offered to the learners, one using imperfect, the other preterit. A context of use was also described (in English for learners or Spanish for native speakers). Learners were asked to judge the acceptability of both sentences in this context, on a five point scale. The items were designed to explore learners’ acceptability judgements for varying combinations of: different types of context (habitual, progressive, continuous, one-off events); different verb types (eventive +/- achievements, stative); and different target forms (preterit, imperfect).

Sample item from “Semantic Interpretation” task

  Juan says that he has fond memories of his childhood, especially when he went on picnics with his grandparents.  
Juan comió en el parque
  -2 -1 0 +1 +2  
Juan comía en el parque
  -2 -1 0 +1 +2