Cognate Linguistics


Cognates by Nature

The awareness of lexical and syntactic cognates in language learning reinvents the basis of a large number of teaching methods. Once learners are fully aware of the cognate aspect of certain languages, there is an immediate and permanent associative effect affecting most future language input and output, regardless of the approach or method being used.

Cognates actually represent a great share of the most frequently used words in the English language and in certain Romance languages, including those words used by and taught to children (see the Spanish effect in you); animales: elefante, león, tigre, jirafa, cebra, pingüino, delfín, gorila, cocodrilo, hipopótamo, rinoceronte, iguana, canario, dinosaurio, etc. Frutas: banana, melón, papaya, mango, limón, mandarina, coco, etc. Otros alimentos: vegetales, patata, tomate, brócoli, coliflor, cereal, yogur, sándwich, chocolate, hamburguesa, pizza, etc. Adjetivos: excelente, inteligente, diferente, increíble, similar, delicioso, honesto, paciente, persistente, moderno, dedicado, natural, sincero, especial, original, creativo, práctico, único, precioso, horrible, etc. Misceláneos: refrigeradora, computadora, teléfono, cámara, secretaria, fútbol, básquetbol, tenis, música, agosto, septiembre, octubre, noviembre, diciembre, acción, comedia, suspenso, romance, terror, vocabulario, restaurante, cafetería, banco, aeropuerto, supermercado, cine, hospital, etc.

Additionally, these words include dozens, if not hundreds, of frequently used borrowed words that, when adapted to any given language, usually keep their resemblances and meanings. According to Merriam-Webster (2003), the cognate nature of a word or morpheme is not only related by descent from the same ancestral language but also related by derivation or borrowing.

Although most of the samples provided by this research are given in English and Spanish, The Cognate Project, in its first stage, also refers to and applies to Portuguese, Italian and French. After the successful appearance of Cognate Linguistics, The Dictionary of Cognates - DOC, and The Reverse Dictionary of Cognates - RDOC, The Multilingual Dictionary of Cognates - MDOC is a future project aiming to join the definite cognate matches in the five aforementioned languages, and which may well include further evidence in other languages:


Click on pic to enlarge on mobiles.

For more information, download the free e-book Teaching Cognates.
Teaching Cognates is a compilation of excerpts from
Cognate Linguistics, the full letter 'A' section from
The Dictionary of Cognates, and the full letter '-N' section from
The Reverse Dictionary of Cognates.

This is a free pdf book. The use of this book and its content, for any research
or non-commercial purpose, is completely unrestricted.

If you make use of or redistribute this material, I would appreciate
acknowledgement of its origin. Download.