Language and Identity
A Research on Applied Linguistics
By Domenec Mendez
A Research on Applied Linguistics
By Domenec Mendez
This photograph was taken almost seventy years ago; it is is one of my oldest family pictures and I like it especially. It shows my grandparents and their four kids, my father is the one with a broken arm. My grandfather used to run a bar and he also worked as a shoemaker in Adamuz -Cordoba. During the 50s, his three sons and one daughter emigrated, as so many others, to Terrassa -Barcelona- where my two brothers and I were born, as I guess, we could have been born anywhere in the world; for instance, one of my grandfather’s brother moved to the Vasc Country and more recently, part of that family branch settled in Florida, USA. Besides, we also have relatives in Valencia, Madrid, Dos Hermanas, Tenerife, etc… However, as far back as we know, Seville was the stamping ground of a great-grandfather, although originally our last name comes from Galicia.
My wife was born in La Seu d’Urgell (Lleida), her father came from Teruel, and her mother from Soria. This family branch still lives in Aragon and Castille, as well as in Madrid and France. I believe my two kids, Javier and Victor, are a mixture of everybody, everywhere and everything. It’s incredible!
‘1000 Families’ is one of my favourite art books. A compilation of typical family pictures from all over the world in which the German photographer captured with great success the essence of every culture and country. From my modest point of view, it would have been equally interesting to reflect a great deal of that diversity without leaving the boundaries of any European country to show the fact that migratory movements have spread the population across every corner of the planet since the very beginning of time. Take for instance, Spain, it is obvious that the blood flowing through our veins once beat up in the hearts of Iberians, Celts, Greeks, Romans, Germans, Jews and Moors -not to mention Altamira or Atapuerca. There is nothing more beautiful than the blending of cultures and races and for that reason, I could not be prouder of my birthplace and origins.
These previous circumstances -emigration, mixing of races- together with trade and war justify the existence of vocabulary -even noun phrases and syntactic structures- common to some or all Western languages. But exactly, how many words between two different languages still keep a somewhat similar spelling and meaning? How many are alike but have another meaning -false friends? Or how many entries have a translation whose morphology is completely different? And this is actually the scope of this paper:
- Setting up a criteria to compare the lexicon of two languages based on the morphological and semantic similarity between one term from one language and the most common translation/s for that term in another language.
- Applying such criteria to compare the vocabulary of two languages in order to quantify the results. Suggesting a practical use for this research, mainly in applied linguistics and bilingual lexicography.
- And finally, commenting on the expectations and consequences that these new resources in foreign language teaching could have in students as well as the marketing impact of this implementation.
Cognates words between two languages are those with a common origin. Some pairs are obvious, some are questionable. Next example is intended for readers to deem whether these two English words, man and work, are cognate with their equivalent translations in Western languages:
Eng. Man Work
Dutch man werk
Ger. Mensch Arbeuit
Swed. manniska arbete
Dan. Menneske arbejde
Nor. Meneske arbeid
Fin. Ihminen tyo
Spa. hombre trabajo
Cat. home treball
Fren. homme travail
Port. Homem trabalho
Ital. uomo lavoro
Rum. om munca
Russ. Chiloveyek rabota
Pol. Czlowiek praca
Chec. Clovek prace
Exactly, despite the wide range of graphic diversity existing between both terms in all languages, we would consider them as cognate according to morphological, phonetic, semantic and use-frequency criteria. First case, man, shows a nasal bilabial sound in most languages; and second example, work displays a plosive bilabial sound -whether voiced or voiceless- in either a stressed syllable or stressed initial position of most languages compared.
Isn’t this amazing? After approximately 5000 years of use and 300 generations of Euro-Asians being born, living and dying; after about 2.500 years of sporadic written use and hardly a century of more common written use, and yet today, these words still keep some similar chisel strokes. Some of our quotidian expressions are real megalithic monuments, menhirs, dolmens, cromlechs, buried in the sand and undiscovered by most people.
David Prendergaast, Professor of English Philology at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, is probably to blame for my interest in cognate vocabulary existing among Western languages when attending his classes in the mid 80s. He taught us the struggles of Sir William Jones who, in the XVIII century, established the similitude among the Sanskrit in India, with Latin and Greek, concluding that there should have been a common source that he called the Indo-European, from which other linguistic branches came out.
2. Preliminary Questions
However, and despite these historical processes, What is the present situation? What’s left of that common source in modern lexicons after thousands of years of distant use? Or anyway, regardless of the genealogical or diffusion theories of the origin of languages, and just considering the frequent loan of expressions among cultures throughout history, considering the sharing of scientific information and the spread of technical advances, considering the proximity of communities of speakers of different languages, the improvements and increase of communications, international trade and tourism, what would be the result of comparing the most common 6000 words of English with their corresponding translation in Spanish for instance, although both languages belong to different linguistic branches? Which criteria would be adequate to establish such comparison between both lexis in an objective way to compare other pairs of languages? Which practical use would this research have?
In these terms, and little after I finished my Bachelor’s degree by the beginning of 1989, I approached the Department of Spanish and Portuguese from UCLA, University of California at Los Angeles, and Susan Plann, Associate Professor, suggested that such a research could yield new resources in foreign language teaching to introduce vocabulary or build it up, whether for writing or speaking purposes. By then, I had obtained a teaching credential as bilingual teacher from the Los Angeles Unified School District, and was working as a Spanish teacher at Berlitz Language School, Torrance, California. Therefore, I could actually confirm that some teaching methods based a great deal of their success on the use of cognate verbs to illustrate conjugations; but it did not exist -then or now- any comprehensive collection of true cognates. There were dictionaries of false friends though, but no comparative research reckoned precise quantities of cognates between both languages.
With these objectives in mind, I grabbed a conventional bilingual dictionary and started to underline entries in several colors depending on whether the morphology of its most common translation was more or less similar, or whether the entry shared more than one cognate equivalent or monemes, or was a close set member and therefore had a high use frequency. After a few months of work and having patiently compared the totality of both sections of the dictionary, the following criteria was established to classify the vocabulary of one language according to the degree of morpho-semantic similarity with its corresponding translation in the target language.
3. Criteria of Classification
1. First Group or true cognates.
1. 1. Scientific and Technical terms -mathematics, telephone, monopoly…- loan terms -potato, orange, anorak, croissant…- and other cognate terms in which there is an obvious likeness between an entry and its most common translation.
1.2. Words like colleague, pharmacy, syringe, phenomenon, have, various… have some spelling differences with their translation but they share their main meaning or moneme.
1. 3. Indo-European cognates like who, how, what, head, heart, first, fist, hill, helmet, horse, cow, day, night, mother, father, wind… which share their main moneme with their equivalent translations and usually have a very high use frequency. In general, we can suspect that there is some sort of etymological relationship between two terms when the sounds of their graphemes in either their first syllable or stressed position share the same or a proximate point of articulation -mainly bilabial phonemes /p/ /b/, alveolar-dental phonemes /t/ /d/ and velar phonemes /k/ /g/- and experience variations in the manner of articulation, like voicedness, frication or nasality.
2. Second Group or partial cognates.
2. 1. Both terms compared keep a very similar orthography but they do not share their main moneme, they share instead a second less common meaning, college, professor, crystal, compass, for instance.
2. 2. Those entries in L1 whose direct translations in L2 are not morphologically alike but are nevertheless related etymologically to another term in L2 of the same family. For instance, close has not much in common with cerrar but it keeps a certain resemblance with clausura, and this similarity can be useful for FLT purposes.
2. 3. Compound words like corkscrew whose separated parts abide by any of the rules above.
2. 4. Onomatopoeic words like tick, click, boom, bark,
3. Third Group of false friends
3.1 false cognates like actual, sensitive, sensible, mañana, escalator, carpet…
4. Fourth Group of non-cognate close set elements
4. 1. Articles, pronouns, prepositions, auxiliary and modal verbs, even days of the week or months of the year are classified according to the previous rules. However, if they do not show any likeness with their translation, they are put into this group because they normally have a very high frequency of use and therefore, they should be potentially easy to learn.
5. Fifth Group of non-cognate pairs of terms.
5. 1. That is, those words whose translation is so different that the student has any morphological reference to identify or relate both terms. Often they are terms with very low use frequency which increases the difficulty to recognize and learn them.
This criteria should allow us to accomplish the following three objectives:
First, identifying and quantifying the amount of true and partial cognates between both languages (columns named Group 1 and Group 2 on the following charts), so that they can be furthermore classified into semantic fields for a more appropriate use in FLT. This research could also be used as the basis for other investigations searching for cognate Noun Phrases, and Verb patterns or structures with a similar word collocation.
Second, quantifying the amount of false friends (column named Group 3 on the following charts) not to prevent students against their wrong use, because there are already specialized wordbooks of this kind, but in order to make a call to the common sense of publishers as to integrate this list of false cognates with another much more numerous list of true and partial cognates.
Third, quantifying specially those completely dissimilar pairs of terms between L1 and L2 (column named Group 5 on the following charts) because it was precisely this percentage (indicated on the next column) the one needed to determine the viability of a new tool in Applied Linguistics which I started to conceive, a series of Cognate Bilingual Dictionaries among main Western languages whose main features and contents will be explained later.
English-Spanish Morpho-semantic Comparison
GROUP 1 GROUP 2 GROUP 3 GROUP 4 GROUP 5 TOTAL ENTRIES COMPARED
2830 610 515 153 1772 5880
Spanish-English Morpho-semantic Comparison:
GROUP 1 GROUP 2 GROUP 3 GROUP 4 GROUP 5 TOTAL ENTRIES COMPARED
3045 589 604 92 1685 6015
5. Initial Conclusions
Applied linguistics is the branch of linguistics that addresses real-world problems like first language education and second language acquisition. Historical or diachronic linguistics, on the other hand, deals with language change, and comparative linguistics, which is one of their subfields, focuses on comparing languages in order to establish their historical relatedness. There are other branches of linguistics which involve the comparison of languages and which are not, nevertheless, part of comparative linguistics: Linguistic typology, for instance, compares languages as to classify them by their features and contact linguistics, examines the linguistic result derived from the contact of speakers of different languages.
Well, we could say that this is a typological research on semantics which occasionally relies on the comparative method to classify some dubious morphemes as cognates. Or, in other words, a synchronic approach to moderns semantics with an implied diachronic perspective and with the strictest objective of being implemented in applied linguistics and bilingual lexicography.
On these regards, the somewhat surprising results on both charts more than measuring the high relatedness of both languages, the data mirrors the tremendous interrelationship of worldwide cultures, the leading roles of two countries throughout history and the close geographical proximity of their communities of speakers.
Moreover, in spite of the corpus’ oral language preference, the sample can not compensate for the fact that real communication, whether written or spoken, follows other patterns of production and word selection, which are totally unrelated to the trends of semantic similarity described on these charts.
Furthermore, if rigorous criteria of spoken intelligibility or phonetics had been considered, dissimilarities would have increased dramatically, even in the first category of identically spelled bound morphemes. For instance, the pronunciation of literature and comfortable have almost nothing in common with the pronunciation of those terms in another language, although their spelling hardly changes.
Therefore, it is extremely important to point out that the value of these reckonings are entirely restricted to the confirmation of our premises and objectives regarding their use in applied linguistics, particularly bilingual lexicography, which mainly uses written resources to classify and display their findings, and on this account, the sample should be perfectly representative of other dictionaries with an equal coverage as well as the vocabularies of some other languages. For example, it seems obvious that still higher rates of cognate terms will be found if, unlike this study, the languages compared belong to the same Indo-European branch like Spanish/French, English/Dutch or English/German.
However, the most important conclusion confirms the existence of, on one hand, so many true and partial cognates between both languages and, on the other hand, such a low percentage of dissimilar pairs of entry/translation that, instead of producing specific listings -like Susan Plann suggested- it made better sense, from the point of view of both pedagogy and marketing, to compound a special bilingual dictionary. This brand-new type of bilingual dictionary, besides being consulted as such, would give students easy access to three types of related information:
First, a comprehensive list of true and partial cognates between both languages, including affixes, noun groups, idioms and syntactic structures conveniently displayed by means of an adequate layout and graphic design; second, a list of false friends marked in red if necessary; and third, another list of those entries -and syntactic structures as well- potentially most difficult to learn because of either the morphological differences with their translations or low frequency of use.
As we said before, this new kind of teaching resources are called Cognate Bilingual Dictionaries among main Western languages.
6. Additional Features of Cognate Bilingual Dictionaries
In this sort of publication, entries are headed by superposed pairs of cognate terms. That is, first the term in L1 with its phonetic transcription and immediately under -instead of next to it- the cognate translation and pronunciation in L2 whenever it might be possible, like this:
Communication (n) /kc,mjuni’keiSn/
Comunicación (n) /komunika0i’on/
Next, the rest of the entry will display monemes, synonyms, examples, etc… the reason for such graphic design could not be more simple: there is no easiest way to show similarities and differences of spelling and pronunciation as to impress the reader’s mind and help him associate both terms. In any case, these associations will eventually take place of course, but our particular graphic layout should better contribute to speed up this association process by reducing the passive stage of mere word recognition and sooner incorporate that word into the speaker’s active vocabulary.
Nowadays, the design of conventional bilingual dictionaries shows each lexicon as linguistic realities totally independent one from the other, without any absolute connection of any kind now or ever. In my opinion, that traditional design tends to confuse students and block them because it interferes with their linguistic competence, that is, their growing intuition to know the right use of a term, its collocation and synonymous expressions. However, the graphic design of cognate pairs of terms heading the entries of CBD gives a more real and truthful lookout on the interrelations and interdependence of modern languages. This new lookout should encourage the students’ assimilation as well as their production whether written or spoken particularly in the lower levels. For instance, Eng. Street, Ger. Strasse, are not related to their Spanish translation, calle. However, both foreign terms have a Latin origin and stem from what is now our Spanish, estrato. Originally, both foreign terms referred to the checked pattern of roman colonies and cities. It only takes a couple of minutes to point this out in class but in my modest opinion, it makes a huge difference. Ever since students are told about this etymology, they tend to consider the foreign term as less distant and they are usually able to utter the long vowel sound that characterizes it more easily. So references like this one could be useful in a Cognate Bilingual Dictionary.
Another particular feature of CBDs consists of listing all terms for Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 mentioned before in one single part for each initial and immediately after the rest of words from Group 5 of dissimilar terms. Obviously, dividing the corpus of every initial into two parts -to isolate those potentially more difficult terms to learn- can cause the disadvantage of having to search twice for the same word. Yet, if we look carefully into the data of Group 5 on both charts, we will realize that in more than half of the initials, the amount of dissimilar terms is so small as to be listed in one or two pages which eases the search.
Besides, there are many occasions in which students consult a bilingual dictionary not to look up a term for the first time, but to search for other meanings, or synonymous expressions, or spelling, or pronunciation and therefore, they know beforehand which section to choose. Moreover, splitting up the vocabulary of each initial allows for the following advantages: It influences students in favor of taking an active role when consulting a CBD, challenging them to an activity of word recognition in which they must rely on the linguistic competence of their own language to decide whether looking up a term in the cognate or non-cognate section.
Searching for a term in the non-cognate section of a CBD also influences good students in favor, even unconsciously, of paying more attention to assimilate that kind of dissimilar term. Listing entries in two different sections and one after the other makes it easier for students to consult and complete the self-assessment activities designed to focus on each kind of vocabulary. Of course, the existence of two different sections poses no trouble at all when using the digital version of the CBD in CD.
To sum up, CBD is a new attempt to increase the variety and offer of the many bilingual dictionaries existing in the market today, like visual dictionaries, phrasal verbs wordbooks, false friends listings, etc… Publishers, textbooks and methodologies can change from one course year to the other. However, a Cognate Bilingual Dictionary can be used to unify criteria of vocabulary and structures required for each level; it can also be used for students to measure their personal progress in lexicon throughout the years, so he can have the certainty of being able to understand a great deal of language and to express any idea with either simple words, or the common complex words that he already knows from his own language. Cognate Bilingual Dictionaries stand half way between a reference book and a workbook, they are for personal use only, and therefore increasing consumption.
Needless to say, it will be a wider practice of speaking-writing output together with the automation of speech habits that will lead the individual to thoroughly assimilate the new code, but exposure to more appropriate pedagogical resources will significantly increase the user’s linguistic competence and accelerate their wide language acquisition process. By mid 1991, I wrote a first article about this research, International Morphemes, which I registered with the USA Copyright Office (TXu 487 899) and sent the first queries to publishers and institutions. By then, I was working as a Spanish teacher at The New School for Social Research, a college from New York University. I commented a first draft of this investigation with the Language Department Coordinator, Irene Finel-Honigman, who got very excited with the project. The replies from Ed Battle (Institute of International Education), Walter H. Lippincott (Princeton University Press), Michael Ross (National Textbook Company), Juan Manuel Salvat (Ediciones Universal) and Emiliano Martinez (Grupo Santillana) were also especially hopeful. However, no further agreement could be reached with any of these institutions to publish any of the ten or twelve Cognate Bilingual Dictionaries among the main Western languages that according to this research could be completed. Still today, fifteen years later no one has yet attempted such endeavour although false friend dictionaries are often updated.
High School Investigation.
This project was re-activated along the school year of 1996-97 in Institut Ferran Casablanca from Sabadell, Barcelona, where I was working as a substitute English teacher. I suggested a simplified version of my previous research to 155 students from the two last courses, K11 and K12, (groups A, E, G from 3 BUP and groups A, D from COU) and the whole investigation took us three sessions. In the first session, students were told about general concepts like cognate terms, Indo-European languages… as well as the objectives of the research as explained before.
Then, the 8000 entries of the Spanish section of a bilingual dictionary -of which there were copies for everybody- were divided among all students equally; therefore, each student had to compare about 50 or 60 entries. In the second session, students either individually or in pairs, did the actual comparison. They focused on one entry and its translation or translations, and used a pencil to write whether it belonged to the first, second, third, fourth or fifth group of the classification next to the entry. Once they had finished their assignment, they used to raise their hands so I could check out their work.
Next, students counted the total amount for each group, walked up to my desk where they could find a graphic like this one below and filled in the information with their own handwriting. From then on, I personally added up all their subtotals and included the results of each class with the rest of the classes in order to have a global vision of the whole investigation:
Date 18/4/1997 Group: COU - D
High School Morpho-semantic Comparison
(very similar results to previous charts)
I made copies of this chart and gave them out in the third session. With this information, students had to answer a questionnaire, a mixture of objective and subjective questions, and choose among a set of given conclusions, as many as they wanted, even figuring out their own, in order to write a semi-guided essay about the investigation.
Considering the unusual nature of the activity and the added difficulty of using a foreign language, the experience was great and students did quite well, some of them were even exceptionally accurate. For instance, a student from K11 classified embarrassed as a partial cognate instead of a false friend like I had suggested, because he rightly considered to better relate this term to Spanish embarazoso/a with which it also kept a morphological and semantic affinity. Another girl from K12 was able to classify Spanish desgastar as a partial cognate with wear, due to the relationship between English /w/ Spanish /g/ existing in the root of the Spanish term ‘gastar’ without the prefix, and ‘wear’ similar to war and water with guerra and agua
8. Searching for Publishers
This experience was followed by quite a number of meetings, presentations and correspondence, all of them interesting, with Everest, Teide, Cambridge University Press, Difusion, McGraw Hill, etc… One of my most promising attempt took place with Oxford University Press. The first time I ever approached this institution, Claude Conyers, Editorial Director of the Reference Book Department in OUP branch office of New York, let me know by 1991 that he had transmitted my proposal to their colleagues overseas. This time, ten years later, and after interchanging a few e.mails with Craig McWilliam, at the time Editorial Advisor for OUP in Barcelona, I sent him a copy of my first article, an introduction for the Cognate Bilingual Dictionary series and some examples of entries. Again, he liked my proposal and Judith Willis, Publishing Manager of ELT Bilingual Dictionaries, took it to Oxford, England, which I modestly considered it to be already a great success. Unfortunately, they dismissed the proposal in a very long letter that I really appreciated because, at least, they went to the trouble of justifying extensively their decision:
“I agree with you that we often tend to concentrate on the differences rather than the similarities between L1 and L2.”
She honestly admits, which is to be grateful for and take seriously into account. However, she adds,
“I fear that the practical outcome of your approach, in terms of design and layout, may be confusing for the user.”
With which I can not agree completely because false friend publications are often updated and nobody argues that they might confuse readers, on the contrary. So why a dictionary of true and partial cognates could not be reliable? In fact,
“There is little question that lexical similarities in two languages can greatly influence comprehension and production in a second language. Cognates can provide not only semantic but also morphological and syntactic information, and while some of the information can be misleading, some can facilitate acquisition.”
Possibly, what Judith Willis really meant was that such a new and original approach to bilingual lexicography should be tackled with extreme care, and here we totally agree.
I couldn’t help it but applying our morpho-semantic criteria to her letter, that is, excluding locative and personal proper names, there are about 180 words of which approximately 10 % would belong to the fifth group of totally dissimilar pairs of entry/translation. You see, by using the resource book we propose, students would be exposed to such phenomena of morpho-semantic similarities -of true and partial cognate as well as false friends- from the very beginning of their Foreign Language Teaching process. They would stand a better chance to be aware and use them properly. But without our suggested tool, students might never learn the many subtleties involving the complex semantics of both languages.
9. Final Conclusions
After quite a few years of teaching modern languages, it is obvious that even good students are, on one hand, unable to use basic cognate vocabulary and, on the other hand, they make mistakes of false friends and partial cognates which do not fit in with the several years studying and being exposed to the foreign language. For sure, we teachers have prevented them, remarking similarities and differences of meaning and collocation, but of course this task should be reinforced by a reference book.
And here lies without any doubt the most significant concept to highlight in this article: from my modest point of view there is a key difference between, on one hand, a conventional bilingual dictionary of about 6000 entries per language, like the one used for this research, and on the other hand, the rest of reference books with a higher coverage, whether bilingual or monolingual. And this fundamental difference has been almost overlooked by most publishers who use a very similar design for all of them and put them in the same sack of reference books. This key factor consists in the fact that whether nobody would ever try to memorize a volume, or even a page, of the British Encyclopeadia, for instance; this circumstance is totally different with regards to a conventional bilingual dictionary. In this case, if a given student goes through the complete foreign language learning process, by the end of the fifth or six years, he should be able to recognize about 90 % of the entries in the dictionary and use actively 60 or 70 % of those entries. Therefore, it seems reasonable to display all graphic resources, like those explained before, to ease that assimilation process.
This article is actually an invitation to colleges, universities and institutions all over the world to complete the statistics of cognate rates and listings with the rest of Western languages according to the criteria mentioned before. It is also an invitation to keep researching on related topics, for instance, a comprehensive listing of cognate noun phrases, idioms and verb structures, or cross-cognates among all Western languages, or the possible existence of cognate terms in non-European languages. And of course, this is also an invitation for a publisher to pioneer the compilation of one Cognate Bilingual Dictionary.
The prospects of success could not be more promising. Just one CBD English-Spanish, Spa-Eng, would have a potential market of about ten million consumers in Spain, UK, USA and the rest of Latin-American countries; even more if we consider that Spanish is frequently the second language option learnt by speakers around the world. Now, keeping in mind that most of those speakers already know English, our Cognate Bilingual Dictionary would be perfect for them because it would help those students assimilate Spanish vocabulary at the same time that they are reviewing English vocabulary.
And this is only one volume, according to the data collected on this research, at least ten more CBDs could be completed, that is, English-French, English-Italian, English-Portuguese, English-German, English-Dutch, but also Spanish-French, Spanish-Italian, Spanish-Portuguese, French-Italian, French-Portuguese, etc… all of them with millions of potential sales and sustained! For let us remember that these publications should be designed as a new tool half way between a reference book and a workbook, and thus personal material not to be shared like a regular dictionary.
What consequences can we expect from the implementation of such a new tool in applied Linguistics? In the short term, it is likely that this kind of publication could draw a special interest and motivation from the general public for linguistic topics, particularly tourists and sales representatives who, instead of limiting themselves to the knowledge of one single lingua franca in all their international trips, might dare learn some basics from Italian, Portuguese, French or Spanish. Mainly, if that acquisition is based on the knowledge of their own language or others that he might be familiar with and if that wordbook comes with a useful phrases, crosswords, etc… Perhaps some of those occasional readers might well go on satisfying their curiosity with basic language courses.
In Language class, cognates already represent a very motivating factor for students, but they frequently refrain from using them -or do it in a wrong way- because of the lack of adequate technical support, and because they are perfectly aware that many expressions are partial cognates and false friends. If these students have access to a didactic resource like a CBD that systematizes and exemplifies the proper use cognate terms in their wide range of morpho-semantic similarities and differences, they might well improve their academic results in all skills, particularly written and oral output.
It is obvious that the most spoken languages -English, Spanish, French…- do not represent a single country any more and have turned into international communication means. Cognate Bilingual Dictionaries, with its openly merging or blending design, give every language the character of a natural Esperanto and legitimates, more than ever, their international use not only as a trade and scientific tool, also culturally. In other words, in the long term, the continued use of these new tools in applied linguistics should provide a better appreciation and understanding for other Western languages and foreign cultures.
To sum up, CBDs are only the consequence of the tremendous scientific and technical advances that lead our society for the last two centuries and blend absolutely all frontiers among any field of human knowledge to produce a single oneness within our apparent variety. CBDs are also the echo from the delicious cultural mixing of the arts, the music and dancing. Denying them is to deny us.
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Copyright: Language and Identiy @ Domenec Mendez. 2006
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