Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 May 2022
This study investigated whether Korean children follow the acquisition pattern predicted by the Aspect Hypothesis (Shirai & Andersen, 1995), and the relationship between caretakers’ and children’s speech. Accordingly, we analyzed a Korean corpus (Ryu-Corpus) on the CHILDES database (MacWhinney, 2000), which comprised longitudinal video-recorded interactions of three Korean children and their caregivers. Results indicate that the children used the past marker -ess principally with telic verbs, consistent with the Aspect Hypothesis. Each child’s usage closely reflects the caretaker’s frequency, yielding a high correlation (τb = 0.79). However, the acquisition of the imperfective marker -ko iss did not show a predicted association with activity verbs, contrary to the Aspect Hypothesis. Furthermore, caretakers’ input did not correlate with the children’s utterances of the imperfective marker (τb = 0.40). We argue that multiple factors such as input frequency, language-specific organization of aspectual semantics, and individual differences should be considered to explain tense-aspect acquisition.