Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The general question to be answered in this study, and to be reported in this talk,reads: is there a transfer of cognitive structure from mother tongue to second language?As far as the construction of the vocabulary in a foreign language is concerned, the question means: does this process go just like the construction of the Ll-vocabulary (no transfer), or is the L2 vocabulary directly from the beginning onwards stored in a structure similar to the structure resulting from the process of aquiring the mother tongue (transfer)? If transfer takes place from the beginnings then simple English words have to be stored by speakers of Dutch, beginning to learn English, in the same way as by native English speakers, if and only if both groups have in their mother tongue the same cognitive structures at their disposal.In the experiment thirty Dutch children participated, 13-15 years of age, who had just started to learn English, and an equal number of English/Dutch bilingual children of similar age.There were two experimental tasks 1) the sorting task: based on similarity in meaning twenty cards (on every card a single word) had to be sorted in piles? 2} free recall: twenty words in random order were presented to the subject, after which he/she had to mention the words he could recall.The results were analysed in two separate ways; a) a"hierarchical clustering scheme" and b) an analysis of the degree to which the words were sorted together, res-pectively recalled as a function of the abstractness of the relationship that exists between those words.As predicted, the hypothesis that transfer does take place could not be falsified.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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