samedi 30 octobre 2010

Grammatical Gender Affects Bilinguals’ Conceptual Gender

The Open Applied Linguistics Journal, 2008, 1, 68-76

Grammatical Gender Affects Bilinguals’ Conceptual Gender: Implications for Linguistic Relativity and Decision Making

James N. Forbes, Diane Poulin-Dubois, Magda R. Rivero and Maria D. Sera

We used a non-linguistic gender attribution task to determine how French and Spanish grammatical gender affects bilinguals’ conceptual gender. French-English and Spanish-English bilingual, as well as English monolingual adults were asked to assign a male or female voice to 32 color drawings depicting people, animals, and common objects. French-English and Spanish-English bilinguals classified items according to French and Spanish grammatical gender respectively. This effect was replicated for French-English bilinguals on those items whose grammatical gender was opposite in French and Spanish. Unexpectedly, Spanish gender similarly affected classifications by Spanish-English and English-Spanish bilinguals, as well as English monolinguals. We discuss how grammatical gender, possible covariates, and the order of L1 and L2 acquisition, affect conceptual gender as well as implications for decision making. READ MORE

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