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Learning and using Spanish as L7: an autobiographical sketch


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Žagar, Ana Marija. (2016). Learning and using Spanish as L7: an autobiographical sketch. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Medved-Krajnović, Marta].

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Crosslinguistic influence or crosslinguistic transfer has been known as the influence of a person’s knowledge of one language on that person’s knowledge or use of another language. Assuming that word production is governed by activation and inhibition of lemmas and lexemes, to choose the appropriate lexeme, the word with the highest activation level is selected, whereas other words are inhibited. However, assuming a multilingual person knows more than two languages, it is predicted that in certain cases the lexeme for a concept pertaining to the language a speaker does not want to use may be chosen instead of the lexeme for the same concept pertaining to the language the speaker intended to use. It is predicted that this may occur if the lexeme of the unintended language has a higher resting level of activation (e.g. due to its frequent use) than the lexeme of the intended language. It is also predicted that language production of a multilingual person might result in lexical blends; that factors such as high frequency and recency of use and high proficiency etc. could possibly increase crosslinguistic influence; and that speaker’s subjective perceived similarity of languages may or may not lead to positive or negative transfer. A case study designed as an autobiographical sketch was carried out using stimulated recall to test these predictions in a multilingual learning Spanish as L7. The findings of the study indicate that the languages, which the speaker is highly proficient in and which she uses often, seem to influence lexical transfer more and also seem to be used more as source languages. Secondly, perceived subjective but not objective lexical or phonological similarity seems to lead to negative transfer, whereas perceived subjective as well as objective similarity seems to lead to positive transfer. Finally, it appears that a large difference between the resting levels of activation of lexemes for the same concept can sometimes lead to production of unintended lexemes.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: multilingualism, crosslinguistic influence, stimulated recall, autobiographical,Spanish
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Medved-Krajnović, Marta
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 11:08
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 11:44

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