Gender and gender agreement in bilingual native and non-native grammars: A view from child and adult functional-lexical mixings

  • Liceras J
  • Fernández Fuertes R
  • Perales S
 et al. 
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In this paper we analyze spontaneous and experimental data involving code-mixed DPs made up of English Determiners + Spanish Nouns (the casa "house") and Spanish Determiners + English Nouns (la [the/feminine] house) from child English/Spanish simultaneous bilinguals and from L1 speakers of English, French and Spanish with different levels of proficiency in their respective L2s (Spanish in the case of L1 English and French; English in the case of L1 Spanish). We show that early child bilinguals and adult simultaneous bilinguals (production data) and L1 speakers of Spanish (experimental data) favor mixings where Spanish provides the functional category, the Determiner, over mixings where English does. We also show that when confronted with these mixed DPs adult L1 Spanish speakers and non-native speakers share a preference for the English D followed by a preference for the default gender marking in Spanish, the masculine (el [the/masculine] house). In the case of the L1 Spanish speakers, this preference is overridden by the "analogical criterion", (la [the/feminine] house), which consists of assigning the gender of the Spanish translation equivalent ("casa" is feminine) to the English Noun. We provide a linguistic account of these preferences based on the intrinsic Gender feature of the Spanish Noun and the intrinsic Gender Agreement feature or the Spanish Determiner and argue that the cognitive mechanisms employed by the bilingual, the Spanish L1 speaker and the Spanish L2 speaker in spontaneous production and in the grammaticality judgments task make different use of these linguistic units. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Agree operation
  • Analogical criterion
  • Code-mixing
  • Determiner Phrase
  • Functional-lexical mixings
  • Grammatical Features Spell-Out Hypothesis
  • Intrinsic Gender Agreement phi-feature
  • Intrinsic Gender feature
  • Uninterpretable Gender Agreement phi-feature
  • Uninterpretable Gender feature
  • Word-internal code-mixing

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  • Juana M. Liceras

  • Raquel Fernández Fuertes

  • Susana Perales

  • Rocío Pérez-Tattam

  • Kenton Todd Spradlin

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