VLI 9(1): Allen (2020a)

An Overview and Synthesis of Research on English Loanwords in Japanese
David Allen
Ochanomizu University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.Allen.a
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Abstract
Loanwords in Japanese that share form and meaning with English words are referred to as Japanese-English cognates (e.g., ラジオ /radӡio/ “radio”) and are of fundamental concern for researchers concerned with vocabulary learning and instruction. This concern is reflected in the growing body of research into Japanese-English cognates in applied linguistics, which has addressed a wide range of questions in different contexts and with various methodologies. However, the research relevant to applied linguists appears not only in various domestic and international learning- and teaching-focused publications, but also in the feeder disciplines of linguistics, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics. Consequently, identifying published research on Japanese-English cognates presents a considerable challenge for the applied linguist, which may in turn hinder progression in the field. Therefore, this article reports a comprehensive yet non-exhaustive literature search, which yielded a corpus of 130 research publications, for which a full reference list is provided. Furthermore, an overview and synthesis of the research is given, illustrating how cognates are typically treated in the feeder disciplines and in studies focusing on language learning and/or teaching, and assessment. Based on this synthesis, the following key areas for future research are identified: learners’ identification and use of cognates in English, their knowledge of loanwords in Japanese, their attitudes and beliefs towards cognates, researchers’ categorisation of cognates, whether classroom teaching approaches to cognates impact learning outcomes, and the extent of the cognate advantage in a range of assessment formats.

Keywords
loanword; cognate; Japanese-English; gairaigo; overview; synthesis

Citation
Allen, D. (2020). An overview and synthesis of research on English loanwords in Japanese. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (1), 33–50. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.Allen.a