in that they are refection of the cultural history and development of a people.
Tracing words to their origins will open a new window to humancivilization andculture and help us understand the roots of some of our presentsocial trends and attitudes.
Unfortunately, the superficial differences in our colorful words havedisguised our oneness. The intolerance of differences has penetrated so deeplythat, throughout history, many nations have attempted to use the differences inlanguages as a means to subjugate or humiliate others. For example, the word“barbarian,” which literally means “people who speak a different language,” hasbeen so widely abused that today its meaning is all inclusive to mean wild anduncivilized. (Nourai, 1998)
The primary motivation for writing thisthesiswas the hope that it mayfoster a greater appreciation of the variancesamong different languages andcultures, and ultimately nurture a greaterunderstanding among those who speakapparently different languages. After all, we have all come from the same“home”, have gathered around the same “fire” and sharethe same innate “HumanLanguage.”
The Place of Persian among the Families of Languages
When we go through the process of tracing words to their origins, we are, in essence, tracing our civilization to its most basic roots. While archeologybrings us physical facts about our ancestors, etymology portrays a clearer pictureof their emotions, ideas and inner world.
Talebnejad et al (2012) categorized the present-languages of Indo-European languages and identified the place of Persian language:
“Persian is a member of the Indo-European family of languages. Indo-European is one of the most widely spoken and diverse families of languages in the world today. It includes, among others, the Romance languages (Spanish, French, Latin, etc.), the Slavic languages (Russian, Polish, etc.), the Germanic languages (English, German, Swedish, etc.), the Celtic languages, Baltic languages, Greek, Armenian, and Albanian. All of these languages, as well as some extinct languages like Tocharian and Illyrian, are thought to originate with a single prehistoric language called Proto-Indo-European, which was spoken between 3000 and 5000 years ago. The branch of Indo-European that Persian belongs to is known as the Indo-Iranian or Indo-Aryan branch. It includes both the Indic languages (Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, etc.) spoken in northern India today and the Iranian or (also called Aryan) languages. Persian is the most widely spoken of the Iranian languages today. Other modern-day Iranian languages include Pashto, which is spoken in much of Afghanistan; Tajik, spoken in Tajikistan; and Kurdish, which is spoken in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. There are also several Iranian languages spoken by certain tribes in Iran such as Luri, Baluchi, and Tat. In the past, there were other Iranian languages such as Avestan, the language of the Avesta, a sacred text of the Zoroastrian religion, which was the dominant religion in Iran before the Islamic conquest. Persian has undergone many changes in the past two millennia, the most significant of which has most certainly been the influence of Arabic since the Islamic conquest of Persia in the year 650. Over the years, Persian has borrowed up to half of its vocabulary from Arabic as well as certain grammatical elements. This impact of Arabic is profound not only because of its magnitude but because the sounds and syntax of Arabic, a Semitic language, are so different than those of Persian. Since the Middle Ages, Persian has been written in a modified form of the Arabic alphabet, although in pre-Islamic times it was written in an older alphabet known as Pahlavi.” (Talebnejad et al, 2012, P.1799).
Persian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages which alsoincludes English, French, German and many other languages. It Isquite evident that in tracing any Persian word to its origins, its cognates in otherIndo-European languages must be considered. (Nourai, 1998).
If we look at all languages collectively, and with a truly open mind, wesee that there is little difference between what is considered as a “foreign” wordand what is believed to be a “native” word. The difference is mainly in the timeof entry into a language. Some words have entered a language “sooner” in historyand are, therefore, better rooted and more widely accepted than others. Alllanguages have exchanged words throughout their history. A “pure” language isnothing more than a myth.
Probably the first known massive word exchanges among Indo-Europeans took place about four thousand years ago when they began to migrateout of their homeland. They went west to establish the European nations andsouth to establish the Indian and Iranian nations. There were undoubtedlymassive word exchanges among the Indo-Europeans and the local tribesmen.
Talebnejad (2012) believes as a teacher it is often worth making a collection of false friends and true cognates you come across; this will help you discover potential problems in the classroom before they arise and also act as a study aid for your students. The same false friends tend to occur again and again and to try and avoid errors, they need to be dealt with individually and specifically with each class as they arise. It is sometimes useful to use the students’ MT in the classroom to help explain the difference here; certainly you will need to make the students aware of what a false friend or true cognate word or phrase means in their own language and then in other IE languages. Once the false friend has been pointed out and noted by the students, you can create a set of exercises to check the meaning. For example by multiple-choice exercises, where the students must select the correct meaning of a phrase or they must choose the correct synonym. By looking at what the students do here you can see if they need more work and practice in learning the meaning of specific English words which are false friends to their MT. False cognates are pairs of words in the same or different languages that are similar in form and meaning but have different roots. That is, they appear to be, or are sometimes considered, cognates, when in fact they are not. Even if false cognates lack a common root, there may still be an indirect connection between them.
Teachers, linguists and psycholinguists have always been interested in errors produced by second language learners, either in their speech or writing or both. In fact learners ‘errors have been the subject of extensive investigation and heated controversy for quite a long time.
Surveys on the false friendship phenomenon are rather scarce (Chacón, 2006).Studies show that almost all language users of IE languages are bored and confused in comprehending those languages which share common features inversely. Moreover, they are less likely to learn. For increasing learner engagement and deeply understanding of materials it is better to eradicate the sources of miscomprehension. There might be also false friends in two or many IE languages that make the comprehension doubly difficult. The learner may assume that since the source and target language have the same form, they can also have the same meaning or stylistic features.
Persian is the most important of a group of several related languages that linguists classify as Indo-Iranian. Persian speakers regard their language as extremely beautiful, and they take great pleasure in listening to the verses of medieval poets such as Ferdowsi, Hafez, and Sadi. The language is a living link with the past and has been important in binding the nation together. It is the language of government and public instruction and is the mother tongue of half of the population. Persian is spoken as a second language by a large proportion of the rest. As part of the Indo-European family of languages, Persian is distantly related to Latin, Greek, the Slavic and Teutonic languages, and English. This relationship
can be seen in such cognates as beradar (brother), pedar (father), and mader (mother). It is a relatively easy language for English-speaking people to learn compared with any other major language of the Middle East. Verbs tend to be regular, nouns lack gender and case distinction, prepositions are much used, noun plural formation tends to be regular, and word order is important. The difficulty of the language lies in the subtlety and variety of word meanings according to context. Persian is written right to left in the Arabic script with several modifications. (talebnejad et al, 2012, P.1478).
Persian language is one of the rare languages in the world that has all of the forms of old, and present forms, so by studying and investigating Persian, we can find about some changes that has been occurred in some other languages and reconstruct the proto language that is to say, Indo-European language.
According to joneidi (2001) it’s not a good idea to bringing the branches of an old tree closer to find similar and cognate words between the dialects of Persian language.in order to find the oneness of the tree, we must trace the branches back to its truck and roots.
As it is said earlier in the previous chapter the present study was conducted to ameliorate the pedagogical and practical effect ofbilingual Teaching of Cognate Words (Persian-English) on learners’ knowledge of Lexical development
. So this part aimed at paying attention to the methodology of the research as follows: the design of the study, participants of the study, materials, procedures and the statistical analysis.
3.1. The design of the study
In this section, major studies on cognate words and their effects on second language learning will be reviewed.in this matter, however, there aren’t very much work done especially in the relationship between Persian and English. Authors such as Moss (1992) point out that, in the cases where the L1 and the target language are historically related and share some helpful similarities, language learners should be systematically trained to take advantage of cognate words and thereby enhance their knowledge of Lexical developmentand their global understanding of the text.
Ringbom (2001) indicates that if the L2 is closely related to the L1, the language learner will benefit from the existence of cognate words, given the fact that both, recognition and understanding of these words is less demanding than completely alien words. In fact, many of these words are not eventually learned but the formal similarity, especially in writing, helps the language learner to understand the text and to accomplish a smooth reading but, conversely, there is little psycholinguistic processing. Rather, unconsciously, the language learner tends to consider cognate words as a help for his reading which do not require special attention. So, Ringbom (1992) introduces the idea of potential knowledge to refer to the learners’ knowledge or familiarity with a word or grammar construction which, in fact, has not been seen before in the L2. It goes without saying that the closer the typological proximity between languages, the more chances the language learner has to find instances of this potential knowledge, at least as far as receptive skills are concerned, i.e., listening and, especially, reading. Whereas the absence of cognate words between the L1 and the L2 considerably reduces the amount of ‘familiar’ vocabulary that the language learner has access to, and the range between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ vocabulary diminishes considerably (Ringbom, 1992). Ringbom’s research centers on two languages,which are rather close from a morpho-syntactic point of view, i.e. English and French. Ringbom (2001) divides various types of lexical transfer into two main blocks, transfer of
in that they are refection of the cultural history and development of a people.