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TIP-OF-THE-TONGUE STATES WITH FOREIGN LANGUAGE WORDS: RESOLUTION TYPES AND WORD STRATEGIES

Abstract

This article analyzes the resolution types of tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states with foreign/second language (FL) words. lt attempts to describe some of the search passes, strategies,  and  cues  that  are used by learners to overcome temporary word retrieval  failures.  More than a hundred TOT  states were recorded in cognitive diaries by Russian and Mexican learners of English and by  English­ speaking learners of German over periods of four weeks. The subjects reported to have  resolved  the TOT states through use of references (46% of the time), directed search (22.6% of the time), environmental cues (17.0%  of  the  time),  and  spontaneous  "pop-up"  resolutions  (12.3%  of  the time). The diary reports demonstrate that learners frequently recalled and manipulated fragmentary information about the target word and word associates.  The latter were mostly  intralingual associations (of the FL) that shared sound similarity or meaning similarity with the target word. Differences in the frequency of resolution types and strategy use between the subject groups are suggested to be due to the variation in typological distance between L l and FL and the kind of FL instruction that learners received.

How to Cite

Ecke, P., (1999) “TIP-OF-THE-TONGUE STATES WITH FOREIGN LANGUAGE WORDS: RESOLUTION TYPES AND WORD STRATEGIES”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 7, p.55-69.

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Peter Ecke (Universidad de las Americas en Puebla)

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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