Grammatical and Non-grammatical contributions to closed-class word selection.

F.-Xavier Alario (Lead / Corresponding author), Pauline Ayora, Albert Costa, Alissa Melinger

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    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Closed-class word selection was investigated by focusing on determiner production. Native speakers from three different languages named pictures of objects using determiner plus noun phrases (e.g., in French “la table” [thefeminine table], while ignoring distractor determiners printed on the pictures (e.g., “le” [themasculine]. The target and distractor expressed either shared or different grammatical and nongrammatical features (gender, number, and definiteness). A gender-facilitation effect was observed and attributed to noun processing. Crucially, across five experiments, distractors that shared a feature with the target determiner never resulted in longer naming latencies than distractors that were more different. These results indicate that activating related candidates is not detrimental for determiner retrieval, suggesting a noncompetitive mechanism of closed-class word selection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)960-981
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


    • closed-class word
    • agreement
    • determiner
    • language production
    • lexical access


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