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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


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Academic Paper


Title: The Automatic Cognate Form Assumption: Evidence for the parasitic model of vocabulary development
Paper URL: http://www.reference-global.com/doi/abs/10.1515/iral.2002.008
Author: Christopher J. Hall
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: www.yorksj.ac.uk/c.hall
Institution: York St John University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: The Parasitic Hypothesis, formulated to account for early stages of vocabulary/L/development in second language learners, claims that on initial exposure/L/to a word, learners automatically exploit existing lexical material in the L1/L/or L2 in order to establish an initial memory representation. At the level of/L/phonological and orthographic form, it is claimed that significant overlaps/L/with existing forms, i.e. cognates, are automatically detected and new forms/L/are subordinately connected to them in the mental lexicon. In the study reported here, English nonwords overlapping with real words in Spanish (pseudocognates), together with noncognate nonwords, were presented to Spanish-speaking learners of English in a word familiarity task. Participants reported significantly higher levels of familiarity with the pseudocognates and showed greater consistency in providing translations for them. These results, together with measures of the degree of overlap between nonword stimuli and translations, were interpreted as evidence for the automatic use of cognates in early word learning.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. Vol. 40, No. 2, 69–87.
URL: http://www.reference-global.com/doi/abs/10.1515/iral.2002.008


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