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Neuter is not Common in Dutch: Eye Movements Reveal Asymmetrical Gender Processing

Loerts, H and Wieling, M and Schmid, MS (2013) 'Neuter is not Common in Dutch: Eye Movements Reveal Asymmetrical Gender Processing.' Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 42 (6). 551 - 570. ISSN 0090-6905

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Abstract

Native speakers of languages with transparent gender systems can use gender cues to anticipate upcoming words. To examine whether this also holds true for a non-transparent two-way gender system, i.e. Dutch, eye movements were monitored as participants followed spoken instructions to click on one of four displayed items on a screen (e.g., Klik op deCOM rode appelCOM, 'Click on the COM red appleCOM'). The items contained the target, a colour- and/or gender-matching competitor, and two unrelated distractors. A mixed-effects regression analysis revealed that the presence of a colour-matching and/or gender-matching competitor significantly slowed the process of finding the target. The gender effect, however, was only observed for common nouns, reflecting the fact that neuter gender-marking cannot disambiguate as all Dutch nouns become neuter when used as diminutives. The gender effect for common nouns occurred before noun onset, suggesting that gender information is, at least partially, activated automatically before encountering the noun. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2014 09:59
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 10:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/8645

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