Acquisition and processing of grammatical gender (26-28 Feb)

LIN-8009: Acquisition and Processing of Grammatical Gender

Instructors: Holger Hopp (Braunschweig), Natascha Müller (Wuppertal), Sharon Unsworth (Nijmegen)

Time: February 26-28, 10:00-12:00 and 13:30-15:30
UiT, see schedule here.

Time/Place Tuesday, Feb 26 Wednesday, Feb 27 Thursday, Feb 28
10:00-12:00/ Hopp, Lecture 1
Unsworth, Lecture
Müller, Lecture 2
13:30-15:00/ Müller, Lecture 1
Hopp, Lecture 2
Unsworth, Lecture 2

Organized by: LingPhil Researcher School (where students will find a link to sign up for the course)
Official UiT course website here.

Local organizers: Terje Lohndal (NTNU/UiT) & Marit Westergaard (UiT/NTNU)

Readings: Downloadable from the links provided. Book chapters or not yet published work will be made available in a Dropbox folder. Please contact Terje Lohndal for access.

Course description and readings

Holger Hopp

Lecture 1: L1 and L2 acquisition and processing of gender agreement in German: Cross-linguistic influence
Lemmerth, N. & Hopp, H. (im Erscheinen). Gender processing in simultaneous and successive bilingual children: Effects of lexical and syntactic cross-linguistic influence. Language Acquisition. DOI: 10.1080/10489223.2017.1391815 (
Lecture 2: Learning to process grammatical gender: The Lexical Gender Learning Hypothesis
Hopp, H. (2016). Learning (not) to predict: Grammatical gender processing in adult L2 acquisition. Second Language Research, 32(2), 277–307. DOI: 10.1177/0267658315624960 (

Natascha Müller

Lecture 1
I will focus on French in my lectures and compare this language with other Romance languages and German. In the first part I will describe the French gender system and present and discuss the gender cues. I will then outline the locus of the gender feature and argue that in French, gender is not an inherent feature of the noun. The two articles the students are supposed to read are Lyster (2006) and  Atkinson (2015). Readings available here:

Lecture 2
In the second part, I will look at first language acquisition and try to use the data in order to show where the locus of the gender feature is and how it is acquired. Again, I concentrate on French, but I will compare with other Romance languages and German. The students are supposed to read Seigneuric et al. (2007) and Eichler et al. (2013). I will include observations from code-switched DPs in order to reveal the feature make-up of the French DP. Readings available here:

Eichler et al:
Seigneuric et al:

Sharon Unsworth

Lecture 1: Age effects in the acquisition of grammatical gender in Dutch
Unsworth, S. (2013). Assessing age of onset effects in (early) child L2 acquisition. Language Acquisition, 20, 74-92.

Lecture 2: Input effects in the acquisition of grammatical gender in Dutch
Unsworth, S. (2013). Assessing the role of current and cumulative exposure in simultaneous bilingual acquisition: The case of Dutch gender. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 86-110


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