CROSS-LINGUISTIC INFLUENCE OF L2 ON COMPREHENSION OF L1 ACADEMIC VOCABULARY
Keywords:cross-linguistic influence, academic vocabulary, L2-L1 influence, lexical transfer
This article reports on the findings of an empirical study of cross-linguistic lexical influence
on the comprehension of cognates in Serbian and French, Italian or German language on
one hand and non-cognates on the other hand. The lexical items chosen for the study are considered
to belong to academic vocabulary. The participants are third and forth-year undergraduate
students of French, Italian and German language respectively. They are all native speakers
of Serbian language and speak English and at least one more foreign language. The participants
took a multiple-choice test consisting of four types of words based on their formal similarities
between Serbian and the three analysed L2 languages. Based on the results obtained in the study,
we discuss cross-linguistic influence of foreign lexis on comprehension of words in participants’
L1, with special attention to both positive and negative effects of such an influence. We argue that
multilingualism can be an important factor in the comprehension of academic vocabulary and
can facilitate manipulation with this specific type of lexis.
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