Age of acquisition and sensitivity to gender in spanish word recognition

Rebecca Foote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Speakers of gender-agreement languages use gender-marked elements of the noun phrase in spoken-word recognition: A congruent marking on a determiner or adjective facilitates the recognition of a subsequent noun, while an incongruent marking inhibits its recognition. However, while monolinguals and early language learners evidence this gender-marking effect, late learners do not (Guillelmon & Grosjean 2001). The goals of this study were to determine whether early learners who are not dominant in the gender-marking language (Spanish) can use gender cues in spoken-word recognition and whether the ability of both early and late learners to do so is a function of the noun’s gender-marking transparency. Results of a word-repetition task, completed by 32 native Spanish speakers and 64 English-dominant early and late learners of Spanish indicate that both types of learners make use of gender cues during spoken-word recognition, and that gender-marking transparency may influence this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA004
Pages (from-to)365-385
Number of pages21
JournalLanguage Acquisition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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