Prototypical associations in the production and lexical availability of Spanish and Slovene adolescents in Spanish and in English as foreign languages

  • Jaqueline Mora University of Rioja
  • Rosa Mª Jiménez Catalán University of Rioja
Keywords: prototypes, word associations, productive vocabulary, lexical availability,, parts of the body, clothes, foreign language, Spanish, English

Abstract

Semantic prototypes allow us to understand the categorization of a language. This study on prototypes in two foreign languages with informants from two different countries enables us to address the prototypical associations in a global framework. This study compares a group of 100 Slovenian students of secondary education learning Spanish as a foreign language, and a group of 100 Spanish students learning English as a foreign language. We intend to examine two categories, parts of the body and clothes, with the following objectives: a) to determine if similarities or differences are observed in the number of words produced by Spanish and Slovenian adolescent learners of English and Spanish as foreign languages, respectively, in the categories of parts of the body and clothes; and b) to ascertain if similarities and/or differences are observed in the most available words for those categories in English and Spanish. Specifically, we aim to determine whether there are either convergences or divergences in prototypes, both in English and Spanish. Our results suggest the existence of shared prototypes within the two semantic categories analysed in English and Spanish. Moreover, although to a lesser extent, our results also point to the existence of cultural idiosyncrasies in clothes/la ropa.

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Published
2019-12-22
How to Cite
Mora, J., & Jiménez Catalán, R. M. (2019). Prototypical associations in the production and lexical availability of Spanish and Slovene adolescents in Spanish and in English as foreign languages. Verba Hispanica, 27(1), 73-91. https://doi.org/10.4312/vh.27.1.73-91