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Auteur: Maryam S. GHIASIAN

Co-Auteur(s): Ali A. FALAHI, Allameh university, Islamic Republic of Iran

Complexity in Interlanguage Cognitive Network of Persian Speakers: A Case Study of Learning Spanish Phrasal Verbs

Abstract/Résumé: The aim of this paper is to classify the different levels of complexity of Spanish phrasal verbs from the cognitive viewpoint in the interlanguage structure of Persian students. In this research the cognitive nature of relationships between interrelated nodes of interlanguage’s structure will be presented as a dynamic system that in the most basic levels, resorts to simplification as a cognitive strategy to understand the complex system of the second language (Spanish). As interlanguage goes gradually from basic levels to the more complex structures, its interconnected network autocorrects and revises its relationships and nodes. Learning Spanish phrasal verbs as a linguistic complexity, can be classified into three levels, basic, intermediate and advanced, based on the term entrenchment (Langacker quoted by Dahl, 2004:89), implied the idea that the mental "trace" of an experience becomes progressively strengthened each time an individual is exposed to it .(ibid) During this process , moving towards more complex levels of phrasal verbs in interlanguage structure, the frequency of errors shows a significant trend toward the third level of complexity, which gives rise to errors fossilized. To test the aforementioned hypothesis, undergraduate students of Spanish in Alame Tabatabai University as the statistical population were examined and 75 of them selected according to the cluster sampling method. Then 70 of them were divided into three levels based on interlanguage: basic, intermediate and advanced. The level of interlanguage was determined by the students' answers to the questionnaire. The results demonstrate the existence of different levels of cognitive complexity in the Spanish phrasal verbs (prototype selection and categorization) and stresses on the direct relationship of these levels with the cognitive resources of error. According to the results of questionnaires, this study determines the cognitive strategies that strengthen or broke the nodes to form an interlanguage network with major complexity. Key words: Cognitive complexity, Spanish Phrasal verb, Interlenguage, Interlanguage cognitive network, entrenchment References Croft,W. and Cruse, D. Alan.2004.Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dahl, O. 2004.The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Givon, T; M. Shibatani. 2009. Syntactic Complexity, Diachrony, Acquisition, Neuro-cognition, Evolution. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Lakoff, G.1987. Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind, Chicago: Chicago University Press.