Jacobsen, T. (1999). Effects of grammatical gender on picture and word naming: evidence from German. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 28(5), 499-514.

Effects of grammatical gender on picture and word naming: evidence from German

The present study investigated the effects of prior grammatical gender information (masculine, feminine, and neuter) provided by a minimal sentence context on both picture- and word-naming latencies. Named targets were nouns or pictures of concepts featuring unambiguous grammatical gender. Simple sentence fragments were presented auditorily prior to each picture or word target; the relation between these sentence primes and the word or picture target was either gender-congruent, gender-incongruent, or gender-neutral. Relative to the gender-neutral baseline, reliable facilitation and inhibition effects were both observed in the picture-naming task. By contrast, only inhibition effects were observed in the word-naming task. The results suggest that the processes of picture and word naming differ qualitatively when gender information is precued. The findings are discussed with respect to the distinction between postlexical and intralexical loci of the effects of gender context on word recognition and production.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
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Dagmar Schrödl
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Dorit Thieme
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