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Research Article

Oral Inter-Understanding of Words in a Phrasal Context

Lexical Transparency in the Language Couple Italian-French

Denis Passalent    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



This article examines the role of oral lexical transparency of some words in the field of romance languages’ inter-comprehension. An initial list of 200 Italian words was presented orally without context to a group of French people who had no knowledge of the Italian language. Eleven of these words had then been submitted in different sentences with a different level and nature of transparency to another group made up of a variety of French adolescents and adults. They had to concentrate on every useful linguistic element – phonological similarities or contextual clues – present in the phrasal context and then recognize the meaning of the Italian words. After presenting the methodology of the research, the essay goes on to analyse the data collected and to give some conclusions. Overall, words are better understood in the presence of a context and adults seem to have more strategies to adopt in order to grasp the meaning of the given words.

Keywords: Italian. French. Lexicon. Transparency. Phrasal context.

Language: it

Submitted: April 12, 2016   Accepted: July 16, 2016   Published: Sept. 30, 2016  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-50-16-8

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