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Native Spanish Speaker Intuition in Noun Gender Assignment
Clegg, Jens H. (Indiana University)

Data: 2010
Resum: When an English word is borrowed into Spanish it has no specific gender and in order for the word to be used in the language it must be assigned a gender, either masculine or feminine. There are many different factors that may play a role in the assignment of gender to new English-origin words. This paper concentrates on English word final phonemes that do not correspond with the phonemes usually found in word final position in Spanish. For this study, words that are phonotactically possible in English but do not, in fact, exist were given to native Spanish speakers. The native Spanish speakers were then asked to assign the new words a gender. The words used in the study were designed to appear to be one gender according to their terminal phoneme. (ie. words ending in /o/ are generally masculine and words ending in /a/ are feminine) The definitions given to the words were designed to contradict the predictable gender associated with the terminal phoneme. In 90% of the cases the participants overlooked the definition and assigned the word to the gender associated with the terminal phoneme. This indicates that the meaning of the word and its function does not directly influence gender assignment. This study does indicate that the single most important factor in assigning gender to words borrowed from English into Spanish is the terminal phoneme.
Drets: Tots els drets reservats
Llengua: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Publicat a: Language design : journal of theoretical and experimental linguistics, Vol. 12, Núm. (2010) , p. 5-18, ISSN 1139-4218

14 p, 180.0 KB

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