Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 11, 2018
Original scientific paper
In accordance with research of crosslinguistic influences occurring on the lexical level, which bears witness to a greater initial comprehension of unfamiliar foreign language vocabulary on the basis of crosslinguistic similarities (Browne, 1982; Palmberg, 1985; Ringbom, 2007; Jarvis & Pavlenko, 2008; Rast, 2008, 2010), we have focused on the role of cognates – semantically related words, sharing phonological and/or orthographic forms in two or more languages, as defined in the psycholinguistic literature (Hammer, 1975; Browne, 1982; Carroll, 1992; Daulton, 2008). We have examined the effect of the lexical transparency of two typologically distinct idioms – the Italian language and the Split idiom, characterised by the presence of Italian loanwords, on native speakers of Italian. The examinees were subjected to a vocabulary test which aimed to show their level of understanding of 60 separate words from the Split idiom. Form and content were the parameters of similarity for the selection of the word samples. The examination was undertaken by means of translation into L1 following the research conducted by Rast (2010) and Uchida (2007). The hypothesis of this research was that the participants would, while determining meaning, use interlinguistic information from their L1. It was also assumed that the key element in the initial understanding would be the orthographic similarity of words in the Italian language and words in the Split idiom. The acquired information confirmed the abovementioned hypotheses.
crosslinguistic influences; vocabulary; cognates; Italian language; the Split idiom.