Parasitic vocabulary acquisition, cross-linguistic influence, and lexical retrieval in multilinguals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The first part of this paper reviews research evidence for typological similarity and/or L2 status as determinants of cross-linguistic influence (CLI) in multilingual lexical production. The second part presents a model of vocabulary acquisition as a framework to explain CLI at the levels of form, (syntactic) frame, and meaning, as well as some of the developmental changes that have been reported for CLI patterns in relation to L3 learners' proficiency. It is suggested that these patterns can be related to default processes and stages involved in the acquisition of individual word forms and their integration into networks of existing lexical triads, as described in the Parasitic Model of vocabulary acquisition. The third part of this paper points to research into the complexity and non-linearity of multilingual lexical development and the need to learn more about it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-162
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 11 2015


  • cross-linguistic influence
  • lexical retrieval
  • multilingual
  • production
  • third language acquisition
  • transfer
  • vocabulary acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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