Native Language Cognate Effects on Second Language Lexical Choice

Ella Rabinovich, Yulia Tsvetkov, Shuly Wintner


Abstract
We present a computational analysis of cognate effects on the spontaneous linguistic productions of advanced non-native speakers. Introducing a large corpus of highly competent non-native English speakers, and using a set of carefully selected lexical items, we show that the lexical choices of non-natives are affected by cognates in their native language. This effect is so powerful that we are able to reconstruct the phylogenetic language tree of the Indo-European language family solely from the frequencies of specific lexical items in the English of authors with various native languages. We quantitatively analyze non-native lexical choice, highlighting cognate facilitation as one of the important phenomena shaping the language of non-native speakers.
Anthology ID:
Q18-1024
Volume:
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 6
Month:
Year:
2018
Address:
Venue:
TACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Note:
Pages:
329–342
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/Q18-1024
DOI:
10.1162/tacl_a_00024
Bib Export formats:
BibTeX MODS XML EndNote
PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/Q18-1024.pdf
Video:
 https://vimeo.com/285802410