The Acquisition and Processing of Spanish and Portuguese Morphosyntax
  • ISSN 0213-2028
  • E-ISSN: 2254-6774
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This paper reports on an experiment investigating the processing of accurate gender assignment in canonical and non-canonical inanimate nouns in Spanish by native speakers of Basque with nativelike proficiency in Spanish. 33 Basque/Spanish bilinguals and 32 native speakers of Spanish completed an online and an offline gender assignment task. Participants assigned gender to inanimate nouns with canonical () and non-canonical word endings (; consonants). The results revealed that the Basque/Spanish bilingual group obtained high accuracy scores in both tasks, similar to the Spanish native speaker group. Interestingly, unlike the Spanish group, the Basque speakers showed faster reaction times with feminine nouns than masculine ones. Canonicity seems to be a strong cue for both groups, since all participants were more accurate and faster with canonical word endings. Even though quantitatively Basque/Spanish bilinguals and Spanish monolinguals’ gender assignment accuracy rates do not differ, qualitatively, the Basque/Spanish bilinguals’ assignment patterns seem to differ somewhat from those of the native Spanish speakers.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): assignment; Basque; canonicity; gender; Spanish
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