His father’s daughter and her mother’s son: Gender attraction errors in child English. INTRODUCTION. Lucia Pozzan 1,2 , Dorota Ramlogan 3 , and Virginia Valian 1,3. 1 CUNY Graduate Center, 2 University of Pennsylvania, 3 Hunter College – CUNY. MATERIALS & METHODS. THE PHENOMENON
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Lucia Pozzan1,2, DorotaRamlogan3, and Virginia Valian1,3
1CUNY Graduate Center, 2University of Pennsylvania, 3Hunter College – CUNY
MATERIALS & METHODS
Adult L2 learners of English occasionally produce gender agreement errors on possessive pronouns, agreeing with the possessor rather than the possessee(Antón-Méndez (2010):
Bob1sent a present to his1sister
*Bob1 sent a present to her1sister
Match vs. Mismatch Female vs. Masculine
At least some portion of the errors are speech errors:
Gender errors are likely a speaker phenomenon, rather than an L1-transfer error
Even monolingual English-speaking children often incorrectly mark the gender of a possessive pronoun
Gender errors are significantly more frequent when the possessor and the possessee mismatch in gender, indicating an attraction error
Conclusions & Implications
Gender errors on possessive pronouns are at least in part a speaker phenomenon, not only a transfer phenomenon
Errors may be due in part to an incorrect grammar, as well as to speech errors
To the extent that the errors are speech errors, we should be able to determine where in the production process they occur
Antón-Méndez, I. (2010). Whose? L2-English speakers’ possessive pronoun gender errors. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 318-331.
Collins, L., Trofimovich, P., White, J., Cardoso, W., & Horst, M. (2009). Some input on the easy/difficult grammar question: An empirical study. Modern Language Journal, 93, 336-353.
Slevc, L. R., Wardlow, L., & Ferreira, V. S. (2007). Pronoun production: World or word knowledge? MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, 53, 191-203.
Task: Elicited production
Materials: 12 prompts :
Match Condition (female-female) Possessor – Possessee
Mismatch Condition 1 (female-male)
Possessor – Possessee
Mismatch Condition 2 (male-female)