The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

Current Issue

Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 20

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 20, No. 1, pp.851-880
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Mar 2020
Received 13 Dec 2020 Revised 20 Dec 2020 Accepted 23 Dec 2020

On the Source Words for Loanwords of the 2015 Revised National Curriculum of English
Jiyong Lee
Konkuk University

Copyright 2020 KASELL
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous research has shown that English loanwords that are true cognates can clearly be a valuable resource for Korean learners of English. This paper aimed to examine whether the 200 English source words in the 2015 RNCE and their Korean counterparts are true cognates, and whether the latter are in fact commonly used in everyday life. Careful scrutiny of the relationships to their Korean equivalents shows that some source words are phonologically or morphologically opaque and others fail to have a one-to-one correspondence in terms of meaning or usage. Moreover, the corpus-based investigation conducted in the present work shows that some of the 200 source words in the 2015 RNCE are ones whose Korean counterparts are not of high frequency and wide range. Because the selection of English source words listed in the RNCE has a substantial effect on English L2 learning, especially L2 vocabulary acquisition, more rigorous criteria must first be established on which the selection of such words can be based.

Keywords: 2015 RNCE, basic vocabulary, source word for loanword, true cognate

1. Ard, J. and T. Homburg. 1983. Verification of language transfer. In S. M. Gass and L. Selinker, eds., Language Transfer in Language Learning, 157-176. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
2. Banta, F. G. 1981. Teaching German vocabulary: The use of English cognates and common loan words. Modern Language Journal 65(2), 129-136.
3. Coxhead, A. 2000. A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly 34(2), 213-238.
4. Daulton, F. E. 1998. Japanese loanword cognates and the acquisition of English vocabulary. The Language Teacher 22(1), 17-25.
5. Dang, T. N. Y., A. Coxhead and S. Webb. 2017. The academic spoken word list. Language Learning 67(4), 959–997.
6. Daulton, F. E. 2008. Japan’s Built-in Lexicon of English-based Loanwords. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
7. Davis, M. and D. Gardner. 2010. A Frequency Dictionary of Contemporary English: Word Sketches, Collocates and Thematic Lists. New York: Routledge.
8. Gardner, D. and M. Davies. 2014. A new academic vocabulary list. Applied Linguistics 35(3), 305–327.
9. Haspelmath, M. 2009. Lexical borrowing: concepts and issues. In M. Haspelmath and U. Tadmor, eds., Loanwords in the World’s Language: A Comparative Handbook, 35-54. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
10. Haspelmath, M. and U. Tadmor, eds. 2009. Loanwords in the World’s Languages: A Comparative Handbook. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton.
11. Haugen, E. 1950. The analysis of linguistic borrowing. Language 26(2), 210-331.
12. Jarvis, S. 2009. Lexical transfer. In A. Pavlenko, ed., The Bilingual Mental Lexicon: Interdisciplinary Approaches, 99-124. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
13. Jiang, N. 2002. Form-meaning mapping in vocabulary acquisition in a second language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 24, 617-637.
14. Juilland, A. G. and E. Chang-Rodriguez. 1964. Frequency Dictionary of Spanish Words. The Hague: Mouton & Co.
15. Kent, D. B. 1999. Speaking in tongues: Chinglish, Japlish and Konglish. In Korea TESOL, ed., Proceedings of the Second Pan Asian Conference, 197–209. Seoul: Korea TESOL.
16. Kim, H, B. Kang and J. Hong. 2007. 21st Century Sejong Corpora (to be) completed. The Korean Language in America 12, 31-42.
17. Lado, R. 1955. Patterns of difficulty in Vocabulary. Language Learning 6(1-2), 23-41.
18. Lee, H. 2001. English loanword phonology in Korean. Language Research 37(1), 177-200.
19. Lee, H. S. 1958. English-Korean cognates. Language Learning 8(3-4), 57-72.
20. Lee, D. J., J. Yeon, I. Hwang and S. Lee. 2010. KKMA: A tool for utilizing Sejong Corpus based on relational database. Journal of KIISE: Computing Practices and Letters 16(11), 1046-1050.
21. Leech, G., P. Rayson and A. Wilson. 2001. Word Frequencies in Written and Spoken English. Harlow, UK: Longman.
22. Lemhöfer, K. and T. Dijkstra. 2004. Recognizing cognates and interlexical homographs: Effects of code similarity in language specific and generalized lexical decision. Memory and Cognition 32, 533-550.
23. Masson M.-E. 2013. How L1 loanwords can create a false sense of familiarity with L2 vocabulary meaning and usage. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction 2(1), 8-14.
24. Min, H. 1998. A study on the foreign words of Korean language. Korean Semantics 2, 91-132.
25. Nation, I. S. P. 2001. Learning Vocabulary in Another Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
26. Nation, I. S. P. 2003. The role of the first language in foreign language learning. Asian EFL Journal 5(2), 1–8.
27. Nation, I. S. P. 2006. How large a vocabulary is needed for reading. The Canadian Modern Language Review 63(1), 59-82.
28. Nation, I. S. P. and R. Waring. 1997. Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists. In N. Schmitt and M. McCarthy, eds., Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, 6-19. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
29. No, M.-H. 2009. The word-formation of borrowed words in Korean. The Korean Language and Literature 153, 5-30.
30. Otwinowska, A. 2016. Cognate Vocabulary in Loanword Acquisition and Use: Attitudes, Awareness, Activation. Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
31. Palmberg, R. 1987. On lexical inferencing and the young foreign-language learner. System 15(1), 69-76.
32. Pearson Longman, 2007. Longman Communication 3000. Pearson Longman.
33. Ringbom, H. 2007. Cross-linguistic Similarity in Foreign Language Learning. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
34. Rodriguez, T. A. 2001. From the known to the unknown: Using cognates to teach English to Spanish-speaking literates. The Reading Teacher 54(8), 744-746.
35. Rogers, J., S. Webb and T. Nakata. 2015. Do the cognacy characteristics of loanwords make them more easily learned than noncognates? Language Teaching Research 19(1), 9–27.
36. Schepens, J., T. Dijkstra and F. Grootjen. 2012. Distribution of cognates in Europe as based on Levenshtein distance. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 15(1), 157-166.
37. Schmitt, N. 2000. Vocabulary in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
38. Shaffer, D. E. 2014. English-based loanwords: Characteristics, learner preferences, and pedagogical potential. Journal of International Culture 7(2), 1-40.
39. Sheperd, J. 1996. Loanwords: A pitfall for all students. The Internet TESL Journal 2(2). Retrieved from
40. Simon-Maeda, A. 1995. Language awareness: Use/misuse of loan-words in the English language in Japan. The Internet TESL Journal 1(2). Retrieved from Articles/Maeda-Loanwords.html.
41. Sohn, H-M. 1994. Korean. New York: Routledge.
42. Swan, M. 1997. The influence of the mother tongue on second language acquisition and use. In N. Schmitt and M. McCarthy, eds., Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, 156-180. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
43. Takač, V. P. (2008). Vocabulary Learning Strategies and Foreign Language Acquisition. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
44. Talamas, A., J. F. Kroll and R. Dufour. 1999. From form to meaning: Stages in the acquisition of second language vocabulary. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 2, 45-58.
45. Thomason, S. G. and T. Kaufman. 1988. Language Contact, Creolization and Genetic Linguistics. Berkeley: University of California Press.
46. Tranter, N. 2000. The phonology of English loan-words in Korean. Word 51(3), 377-404.
47. Traugott, E. C. 2017. Semantic Change. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Retrieved 11 Dec. 2020, from
48. Tyson, R. 1993. English loanwords in Korean: Patterns of borrowing and semantic change. El Two Talk 1(1), 29-36.
49. Uchida, E. 2001. The Use of Cognate Inferencing Strategies by Japanese Learners of English. Doctoral dissertation, University of Essex, Colchester, UK.
50. van Hell, J. and T. Dijkstra. 2002. Foreign language knowledge can influence native language performance in exclusively native context. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 9, 780-789.
51. West, M. 1953. A General Service List of English Words. London: Longman, Green & Co.

Lee, JiyongPostdoctoral researcher, Department of English EducationKonkuk University120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-guSeoul, KoreaTel: 02) 450-3906Email: