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Grammatical gender effects on cognition: Implications for language learning and language use

Vigliocco, G; Vinson, DP; Paganelli, F; Dworzynski, K; (2005) Grammatical gender effects on cognition: Implications for language learning and language use. J EXP PSYCHOL GEN , 134 (4) 501 - 520. 10.1037/0096-3445.134.4.501.

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Abstract

In 4 experiments, the authors addressed the mechanisms by which grammatical gender (in Italian and German) may come to affect meaning. In Experiments I (similarity judgments) and 2 (semantic substitution errors), the authors found Italian gender effects for animals but not for artifacts; Experiment 3 revealed no comparable effects in German. These results suggest that gender effects arise as a generalization from an established association between gender of nouns and sex of human referents, extending to nouns referring to sexuated entities. Across languages, such effects are found when the language allows for easy mapping between gender of nouns and sex of human referents (Italian) but not when the mapping is less transparent (German). A final experiment provided further constraints: These effects during processing arise at a lexical-semantic level rather than at a conceptual level.

Type:Article
Title:Grammatical gender effects on cognition: Implications for language learning and language use
DOI:10.1037/0096-3445.134.4.501
Keywords:semantic similarity, linguistic relativity, cross-linguistic research, grammatical gender, language development, COLOR CATEGORIES, SEMANTIC ANALYSIS, SPEAKERS, ENGLISH, SYNTAX, REPRESENTATION, ACQUISITION, HYPOTHESIS, KNOWLEDGE, THOUGHT
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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