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Article: Basic level salience in second language acquisition: A study of English vocabulary learning by Chinese adults

TitleBasic level salience in second language acquisition: A study of English vocabulary learning by Chinese adults
Authors
KeywordsBasic-level salience
Human categorization
L2 vocabulary learning
Issue Date2008
PublisherLAUD - Linguistic Agency. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.linse.uni-due.de/laud.html
Citation
LAUD Linguistic Agency, 2008, Series A, p. 963-995, paper no. A700 How to Cite?
Abstract‘Basic-level salience’ is a fundamental concept in Cognitive Psychology and related disciplines. It captures the phenomenon that the basic level of categorization is psychologically more salient than other levels (Rosch et al. 1976). However, findings showing that basic-level words possess a superior status in human communication and vocabulary learning (Rosch et al. 1976; Kövecses 2006) so far pertained only to individuals’ L1. In this paper, we argue that Rosch et al.’s insights are highly relevant in L2 contexts as well. To test the hypothesis that basic-level salience can be evidenced in L2 vocabulary learning, an experiment was conducted among 69 Chinese adult learners of English. On a series of slides, participants were simultaneously presented with different pictures and three English words at the superordinate, basic, and subordinate level. This presentation was followed by a picture naming task, in which participants were expected to write down the first English names that came to their mind. The main results of this experiment are as follows: 1) L2 basic-level words are the most readily given responses in the picture naming task, suggesting the existence of the basic-level salience in L2 vocabulary learning; 2) the presence of the basic-level salience is a matter of degree, influenced by factors such as concept familiarity and, what we call, the 'first-encountered-first-retrieved' effect.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/224092
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorXia, X-
dc.contributor.authorWolf, HG-
dc.date.accessioned2016-03-23T06:10:46Z-
dc.date.available2016-03-23T06:10:46Z-
dc.date.issued2008-
dc.identifier.citationLAUD Linguistic Agency, 2008, Series A, p. 963-995, paper no. A700-
dc.identifier.issn1435-6473-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/224092-
dc.description.abstract‘Basic-level salience’ is a fundamental concept in Cognitive Psychology and related disciplines. It captures the phenomenon that the basic level of categorization is psychologically more salient than other levels (Rosch et al. 1976). However, findings showing that basic-level words possess a superior status in human communication and vocabulary learning (Rosch et al. 1976; Kövecses 2006) so far pertained only to individuals’ L1. In this paper, we argue that Rosch et al.’s insights are highly relevant in L2 contexts as well. To test the hypothesis that basic-level salience can be evidenced in L2 vocabulary learning, an experiment was conducted among 69 Chinese adult learners of English. On a series of slides, participants were simultaneously presented with different pictures and three English words at the superordinate, basic, and subordinate level. This presentation was followed by a picture naming task, in which participants were expected to write down the first English names that came to their mind. The main results of this experiment are as follows: 1) L2 basic-level words are the most readily given responses in the picture naming task, suggesting the existence of the basic-level salience in L2 vocabulary learning; 2) the presence of the basic-level salience is a matter of degree, influenced by factors such as concept familiarity and, what we call, the 'first-encountered-first-retrieved' effect.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherLAUD - Linguistic Agency. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.linse.uni-due.de/laud.html-
dc.relation.ispartofLAUD Linguistic Agency-
dc.subjectBasic-level salience-
dc.subjectHuman categorization-
dc.subjectL2 vocabulary learning-
dc.titleBasic level salience in second language acquisition: A study of English vocabulary learning by Chinese adults-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailXia, X: janexia0520@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailWolf, HG: hanswolf@hkucc.hku.hk-
dc.identifier.hkuros140953-
dc.identifier.volumeSeries A-
dc.identifier.spage963-
dc.identifier.epage995, paper no. A700-
dc.publisher.placeGermany-

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