VLI 2(1): Masson (2013)

How L1 Loanwords Can Create a False Sense of Familiarity with L2 Vocabulary Meaning and Usage
Marie-Emilie Masson
Kyushu Sangyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.masson
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Almost 50% of high-frequency English (L2) words have Japanese
cognates in the form of loanwords, and depending on cognate type these
are generally considered to be an excellent way to promote vocabulary
retention. However, relatively unexplored is the impact loanword
cognates have on word usage in sentences. This paper will describe the
discrepancies between students’ perceived knowledge and actual knowledge
of meaning and usage of English words with Japanese cognates. The
results suggest that cognates which are usually more difficult for students
to retain, such as distant false friends (because they have undergone a
semantic shift), are not the only source of difficulty in terms of word
usage. In addition to this, it appears loanword cognates that students
consider themselves to know can create a false sense of familiarity with
L2 meaning and usage. True cognates and convergent cognates, which are
generally considered the easiest to recall meaning of, showed the most
discrepancies in terms of accurate word usage.

Masson, M.-E. (2013). How L1 loanwords can create a false sense of familiarity with L2 vocabulary meaning and usage. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 8-14. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.masson