Research on grammatical gender and thought in early and emergent bilinguals

Bene Bassetti, Elena Nicoladis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions: This article reviews recent research on how speaking a language that marks gender grammatically might affect thinking, and on the relationship between grammatical gender knowledge of more than one language, and thinking, in both early and emergent bilinguals. Design/methodology/approach: The paper provides a comprehensive review of previous research, as well as an introduction to, and an evaluation of, the articles in this special issue. Findings/conclusions: Several themes emerge in the research on grammatical gender and thinking in bilinguals. First, knowledge of more than one language could reduce the effects of grammatical gender on thinking. Second, these effects may depend on the combination of languages being acquired. Third, researchers are starting to identify other variables that might affect when and how grammatical gender influences thinking, including proficiency and the choice of tasks. Originality: This manuscript synthesises the previously scattered research on grammatical gender and thinking in bilinguals. Significance/implications: This is the first full-length overview paper about the relationship between grammatical gender and thinking in speakers of more than one language.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-16
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Bilingualism
    Volume20
    Issue number1
    Early online date21 Sep 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

    Keywords

    • early bilinguals
    • emergent bilinguals
    • grammatical gender
    • Linguistic relativity
    • thinking for speaking

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language

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