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      Failed gender agreement in L1 English L2 Spanish: Syntactic or lexical problem?

      1 , 2
      Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
      Open Library of the Humanities

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          Abstract

          A recent proposal attributes morphosyntactic issues in L2 to lexical factors (Grüter et al. 2012; Hopp 2013). According to this lexical account, issues with gender agreement are caused by gender assignment issues – a failure to assign a word to a target-like class. We elaborate on this idea by exploring three potential cues to gender assignment: 1) semantic gender relating to sex (e.g. ‘girl’ vs. ‘boy’) 2) morphophonological cues, and 3) morphosyntactic agreement cues. Semantic and morphophonological cues may facilitate gender agreement only for a subset of nouns, whereas agreement cues can do so for all nouns, including opaque gender nouns that do not have semantic gender.Seventeen low proficiency and sixteen high proficiency L1 English L2 Spanish speakers and eighteen native Spanish controls judged the grammaticality of 60 experimental sentences. We compared participants’ gender agreement accuracy and reaction times (RTs) on experimental items with and without semantic gender, and with and without transparent gender morphemes. Semantic gender did not serve as a cue for gender assignment/agreement; instead, it slowed down RTs in high proficiency and control participants. Morphophonological cues significantly increased accuracy and decreased RTs in all groups. Finally, agreement cues did not seem to help low proficiency learners, since their accuracy on opaque nouns was barely above chance. By contrast, high proficiency learners exhibited native-like accuracy on opaque nouns. These findings support the lexical accounts of L2 gender agreement difficulties, adding more data to the growing body of research in this field.

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          How Many Levels of Processing Are There in Lexical Access?

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            A theory of lexical access in speech production

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              The spatial and temporal signatures of word production components.

              This paper presents the results of a comprehensive meta-analysis of the relevant imaging literature on word production (82 experiments). In addition to the spatial overlap of activated regions, we also analyzed the available data on the time course of activations. The analysis specified regions and time windows of activation for the core processes of word production: lexical selection, phonological code retrieval, syllabification, and phonetic/articulatory preparation. A comparison of the word production results with studies on auditory word/non-word perception and reading showed that the time course of activations in word production is, on the whole, compatible with the temporal constraints that perception processes impose on the production processes they affect in picture/word interference paradigms.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Open Library of the Humanities
                2397-1835
                January 4 2021
                November 18 2021
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Youngstown State University
                [2 ]glossa
                Article
                10.16995/glossa.5761
                06965474-e82f-4575-8e96-0b52a1d314d8
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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                Self URI (article page): https://www.glossa-journal.org/article/id/5761/

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