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On abduction in receptive multilingualism. Evidence from cognate guessing tasks

Most researchers agree on the idea that multilinguals have specific advantages over monolinguals in learning more languages and, more gerally, develop specific competcies for expanding and managing their multilingual repertoire. Of particular interest, most notably in the context of the European strive for the upward revaluation of smaller, less used languages, is the developmt of receptive competces in several getically closely related languages (cf. e.g. the EuroCom-projects). This contribution prests empirical evidce that, on the one hand, seems to support the claim that multilinguals are more efficit in developing receptive competces in new, previously unlearnt languages. The article focuses on the question how multilinguals use their languages in order to guess the meaning of cognates in unlearnt but gealogically close languages. A series of studies is discussed whose aim is to tap into this process of interlingual infercing. Differt measures for phonological and graphematic distances across languages are established and correlated with the rates of successful cognate recognition in the search for a threshold of string similarity beyond which recognition becomes unlikely. The role of differt types of the participants’ multilingual repertoires is assessed, and other factors influcing good performance in cognate recognition are idtified. The process of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Applied Linguistics Review de Gruyter
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