ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (10): 1731-1740.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01731

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Gender Agreement in Agreement Hierarchy and Its Processing Mechanism

XU Xiaodong   

  1. (Research Center for Learning Science and Key Laboratory of Child Development and Learning Science (Ministry of Education), Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China) (School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China)
  • Received:2012-11-25 Online:2013-10-15 Published:2013-10-15
  • Contact: XU Xiaodong

Abstract: There are mainly two types of gender agreement features for most of world’s languages, which are grammatical gender and semantic/biological gender. These two types of gender features show different sensitivities to syntactic as well as semantic aspects of constraints; the processes of acquiring these two agreement systems are different and the corresponding neuro-physiological mechanisms underlying these two processes are only partially overlapped. Moreover, these two gender agreement features take different positions in the agreement hierarchies: it is located in a lower position in the morphsyntactically-based agreement hierarchy (e.g., person > grammatical number > grammatical gender) whereas a higher position in the semantically-based hierarchy (e.g., person > semantic gender > notional number).

Key words: grammatical gender, semantic gender, agreement hierarchy, ERP, fMRI