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Article Dans Une Revue Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology Année : 2024

EXPRESS: Do French speakers have an advantage in learning English vocabulary thanks to familiar suffixes?

Résumé

Previous research has shown that languages from nearby families are easier to learn as second languages (L2) than languages from more distant families, attributing this difference to the presence of shared elements between the native language (L1) and L2. Building on this idea, we hypothesized that suffixes present in L1 might facilitate complex word acquisition in L2. To test this hypothesis, we recruited 76 late French-English bilinguals and tasked them with learning a set of 80 English derived-words containing suffixes that also exist in French (e.g., -able) or are unique to English (e.g., -ness). Consolidation of the learned words was assessed one week after the last learning session. The results showed a significant learning effect across the learning trials and consolidation, suggesting that the bilingual participants were able to acquire the derived words. However, contrary to our hypothesis, suffixes also existing in French did not give a significant advantage over English-unique suffixes. Further analysis revealed that this was due to variations in the consistency of familiar suffixes from L1. While some translation pairs shared the same suffix (e.g., amazement-étonnement), others had different suffixes (e.g., slippage-glissement). The type of translation pair with inconsistent suffix overlap (slippage-glissement) carried learning costs, preventing the bilingual participants from benefiting from the presence of familiar suffixes in L2 words. These findings suggest that shared information can be used effectively for L2 learning only if the mapping between L1 and L2 is consistent.
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Dates et versions

hal-04525075 , version 1 (28-03-2024)

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Amelie Menut, Marc Brysbaert, Severine Casalis. EXPRESS: Do French speakers have an advantage in learning English vocabulary thanks to familiar suffixes?. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology, 2024, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology, pp.17470218241245685. ⟨10.1177/17470218241245685⟩. ⟨hal-04525075⟩
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