What is it about?

Learning to use words with similar meanings is important for second language learning. We investigated the factors influencing the development of second-language learners’ semantic categories. In the experiment, second-language learners of Japanese, whose first language is Mandarin, were asked to produce the best verb for 28 videos depicting various cutting and breaking events. The results revealed that this learning involves different processes: center-mapping and boundary delineation.

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Why is it important?

The learning category center of word meaning depended on the similarity between the lexical domains in the first and second languages. On the contrary, the success of learning the semantic boundaries of words required a large input frequency and semantic properties of the target langauge.


We hope that this findings will also be useful in devising a teaching strategy suitable for the two processes.

Noburo Saji
Waseda Daigaku

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This page is a summary of: Learning semantic categories of L2 verbs: The case of cutting and breaking verbs, PLoS ONE, January 2024, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0296628.
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