Scientific article
Open access

When Sex Affects Syntax: Contextual Influences in Sentence Production

Published inJournal of memory and language, vol. 45, no. 3, p. 368-390
Publication date2001

This article addresses the question of whether accuracy in developing a syntactic frame for a to-be-uttered sentence is influenced by conceptual information beyond the initial assignment of grammatical functions on the basis of the speakers' intentions, as predicted by the maximalist hypothesis we put forward in previous work (Vigliocco & Franck, 1999). In a series of four parallel experiments (in Italian and French) investigating gender agreement between a sentential subject and a predicative adjective, we found that conceptual information helps syntactic accuracy when congruent with syntactic information and hinders accuracy when incongruent. In a final experiment in Italian, potentially confounded linguistic factors were assessed and dismissed.

  • Gender agreement
  • Sentential context
  • Grammatical encoding
  • Language production
  • Cross-linguistic research
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
VIGLIOCCO, Gabriella, FRANCK, Julie. When Sex Affects Syntax: Contextual Influences in Sentence Production. In: Journal of memory and language, 2001, vol. 45, n° 3, p. 368–390. doi: 10.1006/jmla.2000.2774
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0749-596X

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