Een Nieuwe Taal - Bekende Woorden
In this article it is argued that the discussion about the effects of cognates on the acquisition of vocabulary should not be limited to cognatepairs in L1 and L2, but should also take into account the possible knowledge of cognates in other languages. Beginning students of Italian L2 scored equally well in the interpretation of Italian words with cognates in Dutch and English as in the interpretation of Italian words with cognates in English but not in Dutch. Between students without any knowledge of Italian and students with some minimal knowledge ('a holiday in Italy') there was a signficant difference in the number of correctly interpreted words. Since the words had a low frequency rate, the difference is attributed to a greater awareness of Italian wordform in general. This implies that awareness of morphological regularities is formed in the initial stages of the acquisition process and is actively used in interpretation of words. Transparancy is also a factor in the interpretation of new words. The results seem to confirm the hypothesis that cognates in which Italian morphology determines only the ending of the word are easier to recognise than words with discrepancies in stem and ending.
Published online: 24 March 2014