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ERIC Number: EJ776039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 31
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
Structure of the Second Language Mental Lexicon: How Does It Compare to Native Speakers' Lexical Organization?
Zareva, Alla
Second Language Research, v23 n2 p123-153 2007
One of the questions frequently asked in second language (L2) lexical research is how L2 learners' patterns of lexical organization compare to those of native speakers (NSs). A growing body of research addresses this question by using word association (WA) tests. However, little research has been done on the role of language proficiency in the associative patterning of L2 learners' lexical knowledge, especially the way it affects the quantitative and the qualitative patterns of meaning connections. Similarly, no research attention has been devoted to the strength of the relationship between these patterns, although the general assumption seems to be that they are interrelated. To address these issues, first some traditional distinctions that first language (L1) WA researchers make between the qualitative and quantitative features of WA domains are discussed. Next, the application of WA tests in L2 studies and some of the most significant findings concerning L2 learners' vocabulary structure are briefly reviewed. Finally, a study involving native speakers (n = 29), L2 advanced (n = 29) and L2 intermediate learners of English (n = 29) is presented. Results suggest that differences in the organization of lexical knowledge between L2 speakers and NSs are quantitative rather than qualitative. (Contains 2 tables, 2 figures and 4 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A