Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1879-7865
  • E-ISSN: 1879-7873
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This article addresses multilingual students’ lexical retrieval in L3 French at the university level. The aim was to study how Finnish L3 learners construct the meaning of cognate words that induce a high probability of cross-linguistic or intra-linguistic influence. The task was to orally translate 40 French words into L1 words (Finnish). These words were used to deliberately activate L3, L2 or L1 cognates. The corpus consisted of the productions of 12 first-year students (480 cases). The results show that participants gave the correct answer to a given word in 40% of cases. The results also show that intra-linguistic influence is the most probable source of both negative and positive effects and that cross-linguistic influence from L2 English was more important than that of L1. Nevertheless, well-learned common words seemed to resist this (combined) cross-linguistic influence. On the basis of the task, it can be concluded that cross-linguistic influence can vary considerably and that the source of the influence is not always clear. The analysis also revealed that on an oral translation task, the participants had recourse to different strategies based on form or form and meaning at various levels of success.


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