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Open Access Factoren bij het herkennen van cognaten in onbekende talen: algemeen of taalspecifiek?

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The correct recognition of cognate relationships is a precondition for receptive multilingualism within language families. Several item- and participant-related factors have been identified that affect the probability with which readers and listeners correctly recognise and translate cognates in an unknown but genealogically related foreign language. Most of the relevant findings, however, are based on tasks featuring cognates in only one unknown language, leaving open the possibility that these factors play a (somewhat) different role depending on the specific stimulus language. To address this issue, 98 German-speaking participants were asked to translate 181 written cognates from four Germanic languages (Danish, Dutch, Frisian and Swedish). The effects of stimulus similarity to known (L1, L2, …, Ln) cognates, cognate frequency and the participants’ foreign language skills on translation accuracy were assessed and found not to vary substantially between stimulus languages. This indicates that the validity of studies on cognate recognition extends beyond the language from which the stimuli were sampled. Secondary findings are discussed as well.

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Keywords: Germanic languages; Levenshtein distance; cognate recognition; cross-linguistic similarity; intelligibility; receptive multilingualism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Studienbereich Mehrsprachigkeitsforschung und Fremdsprachendidaktik, Universität Freiburg., Email: [email protected] 2: Université de Fribourg/Universität Freiburg, Zwitserland.

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • Taal en Tongval is een wetenschappelijk tijdschrift over taalvariatie in Nederland en Vlaanderen, waarin ook aandacht wordt geschonken aan naburige taalgebieden en aan het Nederlands verwante talen. Alle vormen van variatie kunnen worden besproken zoals geografische, sociale, etnische, stilistische en diachrone variatie. Verder mogen daarbij ook alle aspecten van de menselijke taal aan de orde komen. Het blad staat zowel open voor empirisch werk als voor studies die een verbinding leggen tussen taalvariatie en theoretische taalkunde.

    Taal en Tongval publiceert bijdragen in het Nederlands, Engels, en Duits. In bepaalde gevallen kunnen ook artikelen in andere talen in overweging genomen worden, zoals Fries, Afrikaans en Frans.

    Taal en Tongval. Language Variation in the Low Countries is a journal devoted to the scientific study of language variation in the Netherlands and Flanders, in neighbouring areas and in languages related to Dutch. All types of variation are covered, including but not restricted to geographical, social, ethnic, stylistic and diachronic variation. Articles may deal with all aspects of human language. The journal welcomes both empirical work as studies linking language variation to developments in theoretical linguistics.

    Taal en Tongval welcomes contributions in Dutch, English and German. In certain cases we also consider articles in other languages, including Frisian, Afrikaans, and French.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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