Volume 10, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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We explored the way grammatical gender is represented in the bilingual mental lexicon in order to determine whether the grammatical gender of the first language (L1) affects the production of nouns in the second language (L2). Furthermore, we explored the representation of the Romanian “neuter” gender to see if it is distinct from the masculine and feminine. Romanian-French bilinguals were tested using a picture-naming task in L2 (Experiments 1 and 2) and a translation task from L1 to L2 (Experiment 3). Participants had to use either a bare noun (Condition 1) or a noun phrase (Condition 2). Responses were faster on gender congruent than on gender incongruent stimuli in both conditions, and neuter was found to be distinct from masculine and feminine. These results suggest that grammatical gender information is available at the level of lexical representation and that the bilingual lexicon is structured in a manner that allows information from the lexical level of both languages to interact. They also point to a tripartite gender system in Romanian.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bilingual; grammatical gender; mental lexicon; Romanian
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