The general aim of this study was to provide an overview of the untutored
acquisition of temporal reference by second language learners of Dutch and
French during a two-and-half-year period. The data were collected from the onset
of the acquisition process in the host countries. The comparison between learners
with different source languages (Turkish and Moroccan-Arabic) acquiring the
same target language (Dutch) and learners with the same source language
(Moroccan-Arabic) learning two different target languages (French and Dutch)
provided a good testing-ground for the investigation of possible source and target
language influences. The outcome of this longitudinal and cross-linguistic
investigation shows striking similarities and differences.
In this concluding chapter, I will first describe the findings of this study with
respect to the acquisition of a (second) temporal reference system (section 9.1).
A substantial part of this study consisted of the establishment of a discourseanalytic
framework to diagnose the expressive power of different learners’
linguistic repertoires. Therefore, in section 9.2, the development of these analytic
tools is recollected, before I give a stepwise description of the acquisition of
temporal reference in Dutch and French by the Moroccan and Turkish learners
in the present study (section 9.3). Finally, I discuss in a rather tentative way, the
factors or mechanisms which might have shaped and pushed the acquisition stages
as they occurred in the present study (section 9.4).