Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Conference Paper

“He's pregnant": Simulating the confusing case of gender pronoun errors in L2 English


Tsoukala,  Chara
Center for Language Studies , External Organizations;
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Tsoukala, C., Frank, S. L., & Broersma, M. (2017). “He's pregnant": Simulating the confusing case of gender pronoun errors in L2 English. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 3392-3397). Austin, TX, USA: Cognitive Science Society.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-85BA-6
Even advanced Spanish speakers of second language English tend to confuse the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’, often without even noticing their mistake (Lahoz, 1991). A study by AntónMéndez (2010) has indicated that a possible reason for this error is the fact that Spanish is a pro-drop language. In order to test this hypothesis, we used an extension of Dual-path (Chang, 2002), a computational cognitive model of sentence production, to simulate two models of bilingual speech production of second language English. One model had Spanish (ES) as a native language, whereas the other learned a Spanish-like language that used the pronoun at all times (non-pro-drop Spanish, NPD_ES). When tested on L2 English sentences, the bilingual pro-drop Spanish model produced significantly more gender pronoun errors, confirming that pronoun dropping could indeed be responsible for the gender confusion in natural language use as well.