Frequency effect on vocabulary acquisition has been widely investigated in second language acquisition (SLA) research, whereas comparative studies of vocabulary acquisition of learners from different language types, such as hieroglyphic writing and alphabetic writing, are still rarely found. This type of studies could be of great significance in exploring some unique characteristics of how second language learners of native languages of different writing perceive and acquire second language. Using artificial words of alphabetic writing and low-frequency English words as experimental materials, this study aims to compare the effect of frequency on the acquisition of grammar and meaning of alphabetic words between Chinese learners of the hieroglyphic native language and foreign learners of alphabetic native languages. Specifically, the study intends to find out whether frequency effect plays the key role in language acquisition; to what extent frequency effect affects language acquisition; and whether there are any differences between learners of different language types for vocabulary acquisition in terms of frequency effect. The results show that Chinese and foreign learners of English language have no significant differences as a whole in terms of type of languages affecting the acquisition of grammar and meaning of artificial words and English words, indicating the difference in the type of mother tongue might not be the factor causing differences on grammar and meaning acquisition of vocabulary. Learner types, language types, frequency and part of speech of a word have interaction effect toward the acquisition of grammar and meaning of a word. However, exposure frequency of vocabulary plays the determining role in the acquisition of grammar and meaning of words. Copyright © 2023 Zhao and Huang.
CitationZhao, J., & Huang, J. (2023). A comparative study of frequency effect on acquisition of grammar and meaning of words between Chinese and foreign learners of English language. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, Article 1125483. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1125483
- Frequency effect
- Second language acquisition (SLA)