The mechanisms underlying grammatical gender selection in language production: a meta-analysis of the gender congruency effect
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|Title:||The mechanisms underlying grammatical gender selection in language production: a meta-analysis of the gender congruency effect
|Author:||Sá-Leite Dias, Ana Rita
Gomes Tomaz, Ângela
Fraga Carou, Isabel
|Affiliation:||Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Departamento de Psicoloxía Social, Básica e Metodoloxía
|Subject:||Gender agreement | Gender congruency effect | Grammatical gender | Picture-word interference paradigm ||
|Date of Issue:||2022
|Citation:||Cognition 224 (2022) 105060
|Abstract:||Grammatical gender retrieval during language production has been largely addressed through the picture-word interference (PWI) paradigm, with the aim of capturing the so-called gender congruency effect (GCE). In the PWI paradigm, participants name target pictures while ignoring superimposed written distractor nouns. The GCE shows faster responses when target and distractor nouns share the same gender than when gender differs. Yet, the locus of this effect is not clear: it might be either due to the selection of a determiner or due to the selection of a gender node at the lemma level, which may be primed or delayed by competition. Importantly, many of those who argue that the GCE is not a genuine effect of gender conclude that gender is a feature that is retrieved automatically. Such a claim is controversial since the PWI paradigm has been seen as too complex and perhaps not sensitive enough to capture small effects. Besides, for Romance languages, mixed results draw a complex picture with effects occurring mainly in the opposite direction, i.e., a gender incongruency effect (GIE). In the present study, we conducted a meta-analysis of the 18 studies that have addressed this issue. The results confirm the existence of the GCE as a determiner effect in Germanic/Slavic languages, while little support is found for the GIE in Romance languages. Nevertheless, we argue that the absence of gender effects in Germanic and Slavic languages within the PWI paradigm cannot be taken as evidence of an absence of priming/competition during gender selection and thus as evidence of an automatic selection of gender. Parametric replication of previous studies, especially those featuring bound morphemes, together with the use of other measuring techniques such as event related potentials are suggested as a way forward|
|Rights:||/© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
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