Syntactic processes in speech production: The retrieval of grammatical gender
Van Berkum, J. J. A.
Syntactic processes in speech production: The retrieval of grammatical gender. Cognition, 64
(2), 115-152. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(97)00026-7.
Jescheniak and Levelt (Jescheniak, J.-D., Levelt, W.J.M. 1994. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 20 (4), 824–843) have suggested that the speed with which native speakers of a gender-marking language retrieve the grammatical gender of a noun from their mental lexicon may depend on the recency of earlier access to that same noun's gender, as the result of a mechanism that is dedicated to facilitate gender-marked anaphoric reference to recently introduced discourse entities. This hypothesis was tested in two picture naming experiments. Recent gender access did not facilitate the production of gender-marked adjective noun phrases (Experiment 1), nor that of gender-marked definite article noun phrases (Experiment 2), even though naming times for the latter utterances were sensitive to the gender of a written distractor word superimposed on the picture to be named. This last result replicates and extends earlier gender-specific picture-word interference results (Schriefers, H. 1993. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 19 (4), 841–850), showing that one can selectively tap into the production of grammatical gender agreement during speaking. The findings are relevant to theories of speech production and the representation of grammatical gender for that process.