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With similar sound, appearance, and meaning, these cognates help students transfer that word knowledge into their second language.Thirdly, except for a couple of word order exceptions (adjective before noun in English and noun before adjective in Spanish), sentences in both languages have the same basic structures (as compared to English and Chinese or other non-Latin derived languages).
That knowledge helps build a phonemic and phonological foundation.
Secondly, 30% to 40% of all words in English have a related word in Spanish.
The British linguist David Crystal conducted some research on phonaesthetics, the study of what makes certain sounds beautiful, and noted that the most popular words have positive connotations – no surprises there.
But what’s interesting is what these words have in common: two or three syllables, short vowels, easy-to-produce consonantal sounds such as /l/, /s/ and /m/.
When we hear a word, the way we perceive it will be influenced not only by denotation but also by connotation.
Understandably, words associated with positive experiences will be perceived as pleasing.
None of these sounds – or “phonemes” – require much energy or effort to be pronounced and so evoke natural and peaceful tones.
Some examples are: autumn, melody, lullaby, velvet, luminous, tranquil, marigold, whisper, gossamer, caress.
Carmen Álvarez-Mayo does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
When we listen to a foreign language, we may hear sounds which do not exist in our mother tongue, and may sound different from anything we have ever heard before.