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ERIC Number: EJ1055969
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Gender Affects Semantic Competition: The Effect of Gender in a Non-Gender-Marking Language
Fukumura, Kumiko; Hyönä, Jukka; Scholfield, Merete
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v39 n4 p1012-1021 Jul 2013
English speakers tend to produce fewer pronouns when a referential competitor has the same gender as the referent than otherwise. Traditionally, this gender congruence effect has been explained in terms of ambiguity avoidance (e.g., Arnold, Eisenband, Brown-Schmidt, & Trueswell, 2000; Fukumura, Van Gompel, & Pickering, 2010). However, an alternative hypothesis is that the competitor's gender congruence affects semantic competition, making the referent less accessible relative to when the competitor has a different gender (Arnold & Griffin, 2007). Experiment 1 found that even in Finnish, which is a nongendered language, the competitor's gender congruence results in fewer pronouns, supporting the semantic competition account. In Experiment 2, Finnish native speakers took part in an English version of the same experiment. The effect of gender congruence was larger in Experiment 2 than in Experiment 1, suggesting that the presence of a same-gender competitor resulted in a larger reduction in pronoun use in English than in Finnish. In contrast, other nonlinguistic similarity had similar effects in both experiments. This indicates that the effect of gender congruence in English is not entirely driven by semantic competition: Speakers also avoid gender-ambiguous pronouns.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland