lundi 9 août 2010

Grammatical gender processing in romance languages

Evidence from bare noun production in Italian and Spanish

Daniela Paolieri; Lorella Lotto; Luis Morales; Teresa Bajo; Roberto Cubelli; Remo Job

University of Trento, Italy,

University of Padova, Italy

University of Granada, Spain

European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Volume 22, Issue 3 May 2010 , pages 335 - 347


The selection of grammatical gender in bare noun production is a controversial topic. In two experiments with the picture-word interference paradigm we confirmed a reliable effect of grammatical gender congruency in bare noun production in Italian and we replicated this effect in Spanish, another Romance language with a gender system analogous to the Italian one. In both Experiments, naming times were slower for picture-word pairs sharing grammatical gender. The results of the present study support the notion that grammatical gender is an intrinsic lexical property and not a pure syntactic feature selected only in noun phrase production. We assume that grammatical gender selection is crucial in languages with a complex morphological structure, like Italian and Spanish, in which the ending vowel is itself marked for grammatical gender.

Keywords: Bare noun production; Grammatical gender; Lexical access; Picture-word paradigm; Speech production


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