Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/102244
Title: The effect of wordtype in the first stages of foreign language acquisition
Author: Rodriguez, María Belén
Director: Romeu Ferré, Pilar
Keywords: Ciència cognitiva
Adquisició d'una segona llengua
Paraula (Lingüística)
Tesis de màster
Cognitive science
Second language acquisition
Word (Linguistics)
Masters theses
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether wordtype influenced the first stages of the acquisition of novel words in a foreign language. Specifically, if emotional content produced any facilitatory effect when learning new words and if this effect was modulated by concreteness. We also aimed to test whether the newly acquired words had the same affective properties and behaved as the emotional words in the first language or the words in proficient bilinguals’ second language. We also investigated if these newly acquired words had become integrated in the bilingual semantic system. Finally, we also studied whether individual differences in terms of anxiety levels could have affected the acquisition of emotional words. Using a paired-associate learning paradigm, participants had to learn 48 pseudowords by associating them to their Spanish translations. We used a Translation Production task to assess whether emotional content and concreteness affected the acquisition of the novel words. Furthermore, Pleasantness Rating tasks were administered before and after the acquisition to study if the pseudowords had acquired affective properties. In addition, Free Recall tasks were used to investigate whether the newly acquired pseudowords behaved as words in the first language. Finally, to assess the semantic integration of these novel words, a Translation Recognition task was conducted. All these tasks were done immediately after the acquisition and one week later. Lastly, the effect of individual differences was explored by analyzing the relationship between the results of a questionnaire of anxiety and the performance in the Translation Production and the Free Recall tasks. Overall, the results showed a better performance for concrete words over abstract words in the different tasks. Concerning emotional content, no facilitatory effect of this variable was found in the acquisition of the novel words. However, the affective properties of emotional words seemed to have been acquired and to remain over time. The Free Recall tasks showed that although there were no effects of emotional content, there was a tendency for emotional pseudowords to behave as words in the native language. Furthermore, the overall results of the Translation Recognition task showed that the novel words had been successfully integrated in the semantic system of the bilinguals. The analysis of the errors in this task also showed that the interference produced by associates was bigger for emotional words what it would indicate a better integration of those emotional pseudowords that had been successfully learnt. Finally, the analysis of individual differences showed no correlation at all.
Note: Treballs Finals del Màster en Ciència Cognitiva i Llenguatge, Facultat de Filosofia, Universitat de Barcelona, Curs: 2015-2016, Tutora: Pilar Ferré Romeu
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/102244
Appears in Collections:Màster - Ciència Cognitiva i Llenguatge (CCiL)

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