Morphological structure governs the process of accessing grammatical gender in the course of production

Maya Dank*, Avital Deutsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the process of accessing gender information when producing inanimate nouns in Hebrew. The Picture Word Interference paradigm was used to manipulate gender congruency between target pictures and spoken distractors. Naming latency and accuracy were measured. The gender congruency effect has been tested in various Indo-European languages, with mixed results. It seems to depend on both language-specific attributes and the syntactic context of the utterance. Speakers' insensitivity to gender congruency was observed at 3 SOAs (Experiment 1a-1c). Neither the production of bare nouns (Experiments 1 & 3) nor gender-marked NPs (Experiment 2) elicited the effect. Nevertheless, the same procedure and targets revealed a semantic effect. The present findings in Hebrew deviate from previous results obtained with Indo-European languages. The results are discussed in connection with Hebrew's nonconcatenative morphological features and the way linguistic characteristics govern the organizational principles of the mental lexicon and lexical access.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)186-220
Number of pages35
JournalMental Lexicon
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 John Benjamins Publishing Company.


  • Gender congruency effect
  • Gender effect in Hebrew
  • Gender effect in production
  • Picture word interference


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