Cross-linguistic influence in multilingual language acquisition of L4 Italian: A study of similarity and cognate effects in Dutch speakers of Spanish as an L3.

No Thumbnail Available
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This Master’s thesis aimed to explore cross-linguistic influence in the early stages of acquisition of a new language (Italian) by means of a written naming task. Native (L1) speakers of Dutch with knowledge of L2 English and L3 Spanish saw translation equivalents in either Spanish or English, and were compared to each other and to a control group of L1 Dutch, L2 English participants with no relevant knowledge of an L3. While all participants performed similarly, eliciting similar response times (RTs) and accuracy rates, the use of non-identical cognates between Spanish and Italian resulted in cross-linguistic interference observed in the type of errors that they made. Participants with L3 Spanish knowledge who were exposed to the Spanish translation equivalents of the target words produced incorrect answers that were significantly more similar to Spanish than the ones provided by participants with knowledge of L3 Spanish who saw the translation equivalents in English.
Faculteit der Letteren