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Multiple Perspectives on Grammatical Gender in the Bilingual Lexicon (GenBiLex)   

Principal Investigator: Rachel Klassen (UiT)

Supervisor: Marit Westergaard (UiT/NTNU)

Funding: MSCA

Duration: August 1, 2017 – March 7, 2020

Grammatical gender represents an important area of research given the difficulty gender assignment and agreement poses to bilinguals at all levels of proficiency. As such, the objective of GenBiLex is to develop a comprehensive proposal of grammatical gender in the bilingual lexicon that includes psycholinguistic, language acquisition and theoretical linguistic approaches. Little previous research has examined the consequences of differences between the L1 and L2 gender systems, either in terms of the number of gender values (e.g. 2 vs 3 values) or the values themselves (e.g. common/neuter vs masculine/feminine). GenBiLex addresses this crucial gap by examining bilinguals with different types of gender systems in order to offer insight into the representation of and interactions between the L1 and L2 gender features in the lexicon and how this is borne out in the use of gender in the L2. Specifically, this project will examine L2 Spanish gender in the mental lexicon of L1 adult speakers of Norwegian, German, Dutch and French using different psycholinguistic research methodologies.

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