Factoren bij het herkennen van cognaten in onbekende talen: algemeen of taalspecifiek? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 65, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214


The correct recognition of cognate relationships is a precondition for receptive multilingualism within language families. Several item- and participant-related factors have been identified that affect the probability with which readers and listeners correctly recognise and translate cognates in an unknown but genealogically related foreign language. Most of the relevant findings, however, are based on tasks featuring cognates in only one unknown language, leaving open the possibility that these factors play a (somewhat) different role depending on the specific stimulus language. To address this issue, 98 German-speaking participants were asked to translate 181 written cognates from four Germanic languages (Danish, Dutch, Frisian and Swedish). The effects of stimulus similarity to known (L1, L2, …, Ln) cognates, cognate frequency and the participants’ foreign language skills on translation accuracy were assessed and found not to vary substantially between stimulus languages. This indicates that the validity of studies on cognate recognition extends beyond the language from which the stimuli were sampled. Secondary findings are discussed as well.


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