NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ850886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0090-6905
What's in a (Role) Name? Formal and Conceptual Aspects of Comprehending Personal Nouns
Irmen, Lisa
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v36 n6 p431-456 Nov 2007
Two eye-tracking studies assessed effects of grammatical and conceptual gender cues in generic role name processing in German. Participants read passages about a social or occupational group introduced by way of a generic role name(e.g., "Soldaten"/soldiers, "Kunstler"/artists). Later in the passage the gender of this group was specified by the anaphoric expression "diese Manner"/these men or "diese Frauen"/these women. Testing masculine generic role names of male, female or neutral conceptual gender (Exp. 1) showed that a gender mismatch between the role name's conceptual gender and the anaphor significantly slowed reading immediately before and after the anaphoric noun. A mismatch between the antecedent's grammatical gender and the anaphor slowed down the reading of the anaphoric noun itself. Testing grammatically gender-unmarked role names (Exp. 2) revealed a general male bias in participants' understanding, irrespective of grammatical or conceptual gender. The experiments extend previous findings on gender effects to non-referential role names and generic contexts. Theoretical aspects of gender and plural reference as well as gender information in mental models are discussed.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A