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ERIC Number: EJ919727
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
The Processing of Gender Agreement in L1 and L2 Spanish: Evidence from Reaction Time Data
Alarcon, Irma
Hispania, v92 n4 p814-828 Dec 2009
The present study investigates the processing of Spanish gender agreement during an online comprehension task. The linguistic variables examined are the noun class (semantic or non-semantic) and gender (masculine or feminine) of the head and attractor nouns, head noun morphology (overt or non-overt), and noun class and gender congruencies (matched or mismatched). The study is guided by specific research questions considering whether there is an effect of these variables on gender agreement reaction times (RTs), and whether there is a difference in performance between L2 learners of Spanish and native-Spanish speakers. Analysis of the data indicated inconsistent responses to some of the linguistic variables, but that the class of the subject noun was significant for RTs. Results are explained in light of the competition model, and suggest that animacy is a strong linguistic cue for both native and non-native speakers when establishing correct gender agreement.
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc. 900 Ladd Road, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Tel: 248-960-2180; Fax: 248-960-9570; 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