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Exploring cognition processes in second language acquisition: the case of cognates and false-friends in EST

Author(s): Pilar Durán Escribano

Journal: Ibérica
ISSN 1139-7241

Volume: 7;
Start page: 87;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: Applied Cognitive linguistics | L2 new vocabulary processing | cognates | false friends | EST

This article explores one aspect of the processing perspective in L2 learning in an EST context: the processing of new content words, in English, of the type 'cognates' and 'false friends', by Spanish speaking engineering students. The paper does not try to offer a comprehensive overview of language acquisition mechanisms, but rather it is intended to review more narrowly how our conceptual systems, governed by intricately linked networks of neural connections in the brain, make language development possible, creating, at the same time, some L2 processing problems. The case of 'cognates' and 'false friends' in specialised contexts is brought here to illustrate some of the processing problems that the L2 learner has to confront, and how mappings in the visual, phonological and semantic (conceptual) brain structures function in second language processing of new vocabulary.
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