Volume 79, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0019-0829
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1490
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Derived words suggest a very efficient mnemonic when they have to be learnt as items in a foreign language (FL). They could be remembered by tagging in semantic memory the property that is lexicalized by the stem and storing the particular affix. A learning experiment was designed to find out whether students make spontaneous use of this encoding strategy. The results indicated that subjects' recall performance was better for derived words than underived ones, even when the presence of stems was not pointed out to them by the experimenter. The error data were compatible with the use of the proposed mnemonic. Surprisingly, subjects who were given only native language translations did better on the derivations than those who were provided additional comment on the morphological structure of these words. This finding proves that the method of giving translations for FL words is not so bad after ail and that the memory representations subjects form in such conditions are not necessarily of the paired-associate type.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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