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Journal Article

Grammatical feature selection in noun phrase production: Evidence from German and Dutch


Schiller,  Niels O.
Language Production Group Levelt, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Utterance Encoding, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Schiller, N. O., & Caramazza, A. (2003). Grammatical feature selection in noun phrase production: Evidence from German and Dutch. Journal of Memory and Language, 48(1), 169-194. doi:10.1016/S0749-596X(02)00508-9.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-1765-5
In this study, we investigated grammatical feature selection during noun phrase production in German and Dutch. More specifically, we studied the conditions under which different grammatical genders select either the same or different determiners or suffixes. Pictures of one or two objects paired with a gender-congruent or a gender-incongruent distractor word were presented. Participants named the pictures using a singular or plural noun phrase with the appropriate determiner and/or adjective in German or Dutch. Significant effects of gender congruency were only obtained in the singular condition where the selection of determiners is governed by the target’s gender, but not in the plural condition where the determiner is identical for all genders. When different suffixes were to be selected in the gender-incongruent condition, no gender congruency effect was obtained. The results suggest that the so-called gender congruency effect is really a determiner congruency effect. The overall pattern of results is interpreted as indicating that grammatical feature selection is an automatic consequence of lexical node selection and therefore not subject to interference from other grammatical features. This implies that lexical node and grammatical feature selection operate with distinct principles.