ERIC Number: ED196274
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Learners' Word Associations in French.
Interlanguage Studies Bulletin-Utrecht, v3 n2 p192-211 Fall 1978
A word association test was given in French to 76 girls learning French to determine whether their responses matched those given by native speakers. Three types of responses are possible in such a test: syntagmatic, where one word cues another that usually occurs with it ("bread" elicits "butter"); paradigmatic, which is of the same form class as the cue word but differs in one semantic factor ("man" elicits "woman"); and "clang-associates," commonly given by children, where the response is heavily influenced by the phonetic shape of the cue word ("light" elicits "bite"). Primary responses (those given most frequently) were divided into three categories: (1) those which matched the French responses; (2) those which matched but appeared to be translations of English responses; and (3) totally un-French responses, made up largely of clang-associates, into which the majority of learners' responses fell. Secondary and tertiary responses were also made up largely of clang associates. Two possible attitudes toward these results can be taken: either the discrepancies reflect serious inadequacies in the learners' grasp of French, or the discrepancies are not important, and will diminish as experience with the language increases. More information about language instruction is needed to determine which attitude is correct. (PJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Utrecht State Univ., (Netherlands).