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There are presently 50 stars on the American flag. Elle va eventuellement venir. She is possibly going to come. Can you wait for me in the church? Personne ne veut aller avec moi. Nobody wants to go with me. Cognates are tools that help you learn French. But like any tool, you have to know how to use it.

Fortunately, the similarity between English and French vocabulary, thanks to their cognates, is one of the reasons why French is very accessible to English speakers. If you want to learn French words the easy way, then you will not want to miss FluentU. With FluentU, you can learn French from music videos, commercials, news, and inspiring talks. FluentU brings all this native French content within reach. With interactive captions , FluentU lets you tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples. All along, FluentU keeps track of vocabulary that you are learning.

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Ruben Moran Molina (Author of Cognate Linguistics)

By Pat B. Did you know you already use French words every day? But just what are cognates, anyways, and why do they help you learn French? Read on to find out! Specifically, this study is concerned with cognitive evidence bearing on the nature of the units stored in the mental lexicons of speakers.

To achieve this goal, I examine how level of form overlap phonological overlap influences translation priming by comparing priming from within language cognate translation primes and cross language related forms with unrelated forms. The languages used are Arabic and Hebrew where both belong to Semitic languages which are unique and interesting. Academic skills, literacy development, concept formation, and strategy development learned in the first language transfer to the second language Bialystok, Clearly, it is important for educators to find a potential for reciprocity between the two languages.

The literate Arabic speaker uses two forms of Arabic in everyday life. The first language is the Spoken Arabic SA , which is a local dialect used for mundane verbal communication.

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In its classical form it is the language of the Koran and used for religious purposes across the entire Islamic world. In its modern form, MSA is also used daily for formal oral communication in the media. Obviously, all reading materials textbooks, newspapers etc. By the end of high school, native Arab speakers are experienced in speaking and listening to all Arabic forms. Starting in the second grade in Israel, Arabic speaking children start to learn Hebrew as a second language. Because Hebrew is the primary official language of the country, by the end of high school, most students are as proficient in Hebrew.

We compared semantic priming effects within Spoken Arabic, with the effects found across languages with written Arabic or in Hebrew being the other language. The findings showed that the semantic priming effect was twice as large within spoken Arabic than between languages. In addition, the cross-languages semantic priming effect was larger when the primes were in spoken Arabic and the targets in written Arabic or Hebrew than when the order was inverse. These data suggested similar lexical performance for written Arabic and Hebrew in native spoken Arabic speakers.

Using Cognates to Improve Lexical Alignment Systems

Studies in other languages Previous investigations identified several factors influencing the lexical organization of non-native languages and the manner in which words in non-native languages L2, L3, etc are linked to their translation-equivalents in the native language L1 e. Cognate words are termed morpho-phonologically similar words having a common proto-linguistic origin called morpheme. Accordingly, as opposed to cognates, non-cognates are not morpho-phonologically similar. Morpho-phonological similarity may or may not be found between translation equivalents.

Previous studies reported that the cognate words are consequential to their processing. Particularly relevant for the present study is the finding that cross-lingual immediate repetition priming effect was larger between cognate than non-cognate translation equivalents e. This effect was found even if visual masking of the prime minimized strategic or conscious episodic factors de Groot and Nas, and using semantic categorization rather than lexical decision tasks Sanchez-Casas et al.

A particularly interesting linguistic environment for investigating the importance of ecological factors and their interaction with pure linguistic factors is Arabic. Yet, the similarity among languages should influence linguistic bilingual performance. This study compared the performance of monolingual and bilingual Arabic and Berber speaking children in learning to read MSA and French. The results showed an advantage for the children whose mother tongue was the Arabic dialect over Berber-speaking children in MSA.

In contrast, the preschool experience of the two languages groups had little effect in learning to read French.


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The researchers concluded that the superiority of the Arabic speaking children in the in the early stages of MSA literacy acquisition is due primarily to the substantial similarity and transfer from spoken Moroccan Arabic to MSA, but not to French. Arabic and Hebrew Linguistically, however, SA and MSA are sufficiently different to be considered more like two related languages rather than two forms of the same language.

For example, although most words are similar but not identical — see below , many concepts are represented by different words in SA and MSA.

ELT through Cognates

Considerable phonetic, phonologic, morpho-syntactic differences are also evident. Indeed, a debate exists as to whether the two forms of Arabic represent different languages, or whether this is a diglossic situation Eid, Moreover, although there are phonetic and phonological differences between Hebrew and Arabic many roots are shared by Hebrew and MSA words.

Hence, it is not difficult to find cognate translation equivalents in these two languages which rely on the same principle shared root as cognate translation equivalents in SA and MSA. As Semitic languages, Arabic and Hebrew are characterized by a highly productive derivational morphology Berman, Most words are derived by embedding a root into a morpho-phonological word pattern.

David Morrison

In both languages, words are based on a trilateral root and various derivatives which are formed by the addition of affixes and vowels. The roots and phonological patterns are abstract entities structures and only the joint combination from specific words.

As a result of this structure, the core meaning is conveyed by the root and the phonological pattern conveys the word class information. Unlike the Latin orthography in which vowels are represented by letters, in Arabic and Hebrew vowels are not part of the alphabet letters. The reported studies in Arabic did not address the question of lexical organization and links between translation-equivalents directly. Moreover, in those studies different groups of participants were compared, leaving open the possibility that the groups differed along other relevant dimensions.

Participants: The participants were 30 native Arabic speakers SA , students in the 11th and 12th grade from high schools in the Western Galilee. They are members of the Druze minority2 who studied MSA and Hebrew in school and, as documented in the introduction, were equally proficient in these two languages.

Intro to Historical Linguistics: Cognates, Borrowed Words & Chance Resemblance (lesson 2 of 4)

Task: The task was an auditory lexical decision3. Participants were presented with a mixed list of SA, MSA and Hebrew spoken words and pseudo-wrods, and were instructed to decide whether each stimulus was a word or not, in the language to which it belonged. Pairs of translation equivalents were inserted in this list. In all cases, the first word of the pair the prime was presented in either Hebrew or SA, and the second word the target was presented in MSA. All targets followed the primes immediately, half of the translation equivalents were cognates and the other half were not cognates.

Stimuli: Linguistic considerations: In Semitic languages Hebrew and Arabic alike words are constructed by combining a consonantal root that carries most of the semantic information and a word pattern that includes vowels as well as consonants, and provides information about the word class and its morphological status, as well as the complete unequivocal structure of the word.

Hence, each word in Hebrew or Arabic is, at the very least bi-morphemic, but none of the composing morphemes are words by themselves.