Gender context effects in noun recognition: grammatical cues or co-occurrence effects?

Abstract : Determiners with congruent gender facilitate the recognition of the following noun. We examine two explanations of this effect: either gender information is retrieved and influences lexical access, or gender effects are due to the determiner-noun co-occurrence. French nouns are either feminine or masculine and are preceded by feminine or masculine determiners in the singular. Plural articles are unmarked for gender. Because some nouns (peanuts) occur more frequently in the plural than in their singular, they frequently co-occur with determiners that do not provide gender information. Conversely, nouns that occur more frequently in their singular form (cathedral) co-occur more frequently with gender-marked determiners. We examined the recognition of plural- and singular-oriented nouns preceded by gender-marked and unmarked determiners. Singular-oriented nouns were recognised faster after gender-marked (singular) articles than after gender-unmarked (plural) ones. However, plural-oriented nouns were recognised faster after gender-unmarked (plural) articles, suggesting that articles/nouns co-occurrence outweigh abstract gender cue.
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Contributor : Jean-Pierre Chevrot <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - 10:46:15 AM
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Cindy Bellanger, Jean-Pierre Chevrot, Elsa Spinelli. Gender context effects in noun recognition: grammatical cues or co-occurrence effects?. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, Taylor and Francis, 2017, 32 (9), pp.1204 - 1209. ⟨10.1080/23273798.2017.1335876⟩. ⟨hal-01674552⟩



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