Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Scott Jarvis (1): Theoretical and Methodological Issues in the Investigation of Conceptual Transfer. VIAL. Number 4/2007: 43-71.


This paper clarifies the meaning and scope of the Conceptual Transfer Hypothesis, explores its historical roots, and shows how it relates to but also differs from the Thinking for Speaking Hypothesis and the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis. Most importantly, the present paper attempts to outline the theoretical underpinnings of the Conceptual Transfer Hypothesis and to delineate explicitly how this hypothesis needs to be tested. One of the most important theoretical issues it deals with is the distinction between concept transfer and conceptualization transfer, where the former refers to the effects of conceptual representations stored in long-term memory (which may differ crosslinguistically), and the latter refers to the effects of how that knowledge is processed in working memory (which processes may also show crosslinguistic differences). The present paper discusses the nature of both types of conceptual transfer and reviews the findings of several studies that have investigated them.

Keywords: transfer, concepts, conceptualization, crosslinguistic influence, linguistic relativity.

(1) Ohio University, USA.

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