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Scientific article
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English

On the autonomy of the grammatical gender systems of the two languages of a bilingual

Published inBilingualism, vol. 6, no. 3, p. 181-200
Publication date2003
Abstract

In five experiments highly-proficient bilinguals were asked to name two sets of pictures in their L2: a) pictures whose names in the L2 and their corresponding L1 translations have the same grammatical gender value, and b) pictures whose names in the L2 and their corresponding L1 translations have different gender values. In Experiments 1, 2, and 3 Croatian-Italian speakers were asked to name the pictures in Italian by means of NPs in various experimental contexts. In Experiment 4A, Spanish-Catalan and Catalan-Spanish bilinguals were asked to name the pictures in Spanish, and in Experiment 4B, Italian-French bilinguals did so in French. The results of these experiments revealed no differences between same- and different-gender pictures. Furthermore, the performance of Italian, Spanish, and French monolingual speakers parallels that of bilingual speakers. However, a robust frequency effect was observed across experiments. This pattern of results supports the notion that the gender value of the words in the non-response language does not affect processing in the response language, and suggests that the two gender systems of a bilingual are functionally autonomous.

Research group
Funding
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - 1114-068250.02
Citation (ISO format)
COSTA, Albert et al. On the autonomy of the grammatical gender systems of the two languages of a bilingual. In: Bilingualism, 2003, vol. 6, n° 3, p. 181–200. doi: 10.1017/S1366728903001123
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal1366-7289
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1704downloads

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