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Abstract

Abstract

This paper presents an eye-tracking study using the Visual World Paradigm that tests whether participants are able to access gender information on definite articles and deploy it to facilitate lexical retrieval of subsequent nouns. A comparison of heritage speakers of Spanish with control monolingual speakers of Spanish suggests that the heritage speakers’ performance on this task is qualitatively similar to that of the baseline. This suggests that, despite non-target-like performance in offline tasks targeting gender production and comprehension, heritage speakers of Spanish can use gender in a target-like manner in online tasks. In line with proposals put forth by and , a preliminary comparison with previous work on L2 learners ( ) provides tentative support for the idea that the nature of early language learning is crucial in developing the ability to use grammatical gender to facilitate lexical retrieval ( ).

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/content/journals/10.1075/lab.20024.fuc
2021-04-15
2021-07-31
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: visual world paradigm ; eye-tracking ; Spanish ; grammatical gender ; heritage languages
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