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Knowledge of grammatical gender in L2 speakers of Norwegian

Knowledge of grammatical gender in L2 speakers of Norwegian using eyetracking and other controlled experiments.

About the project

The project investigates language processing and language representation in healthy bilinguals with a special focus on gender.

We will answer questions related to theoretical syntax and psycholinguistics, and the empirical  data will be the language spoken by heritage language speakers and L2 learners. The project will use controlled experiments as the main empirical methodology, such as especially elicitation techniques and eye tracking experiments.

The main goal is to check to what extent L2 speakers of Norwegian have internalized grammatical gender. This will be done by testing their subconscious reactions to various items of different gender.

We will test L2 learners from three languages: Russian, Turkish and Greek. These languages are particularly interesting because they complement each other gender-wise, giving us the opportunity to ask questions like:

  1. Is the knowledge of gender in an L2 language facilitated by an L1 with gender? (Russian and Greek)
  2. Will same-gender nouns facilitate the learning of the gender of equivalent nouns in the L2? (Russian and Greek)
  3. Is it a disadvantage that L1 is gender-less? (Turkish)
  4. Is it a disadvantage that L1 does not have determiners? (Russian)

The questions will be answered using eye-tracking experiments. Two publications are planned for the subproject, based on the questions above.

Relevant publications by project members

Anderssen, Merete, Kristine Bentzen, Yulia Rodina. 2012. ‘Topicality and complexity in the acquisition of Norwegian object shift’. Language Acquisition 1: 39–72.

Anderssen, Merete, Yulia Rodina, Roksolana Mykhaylyk, and Paula Fikkert. 2014. ‘The acquisition of the dative alternation in child Norwegian.’ Language Acquisition, 21, 72–102.

Fyndanis, V., Varlokosta, S., & Tsapkini, K. (2013). '(Morpho)syntactic comprehension in agrammatic aphasia: Evidence from Greek'. Aphasiology, 27, 398–419. DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2013.770817

Fyndanis, V., Manouilidou, C., Koufou, E., Karampekios, S., & Tsapakis, E.M. (2013). 'Agrammatic patterns in Alzheimer's disease: Evidence from tense, agreement, and aspect'. Aphasiology, 27, 178-200. DOI:10.1080/02687038.2012.705814

Fyndanis, V., Varlokosta, S., & Tsapkini, K. (2012). 'Agrammatic production: Interpretable features and selective impairment in verb inflection'. Lingua, 122, 1134–1147. DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2012.05.004

Fyndanis, V., Varlokosta, S., & Tsapkini, K. (2010). 'Exploring wh-questions in agrammatism: Evidence from Greek'. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 23, 644–662. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2010.06.003

Johannessen, Janne Bondi and Joseph Salmons (eds.). 2015. Germanic heritage languages in North America: Acquisition, attrition and change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Download volume.

Johannessen, Janne Bondi and Ida Larsson. 2015. 'Complexity Matters: On Gender Agreement in Heritage Scandinavian'. Frontiers in PsychologyDownload.

Johannessen, Janne Bondi. 2015. 'Attrition in an American Norwegian heritage language speaker'. In Johannessen and Salmons (eds.): Germanic heritage languages in North America: Acquisition, attrition and change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 46-71. Download volume.

Larsson, Ida; Johannessen, Janne Bondi. 2015. Incomplete Acquisition and Verb Placement in Heritage Scandinavian. In Page, Richard S; Putnam, Michael T. (eds.): Moribund Germanic Heritage Languages in North America: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Findings. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 153–189. Download.

Mykhaylyk, Roksolana, Yulia Rodina, and Merete Anderssen. 2013. ‘Ditransitive constructions in Russian and Ukrainian: Effect of givenness.’ Lingua 137C: 271–289.

Rodina, Yulia and Marit Westergaard. In press. ‘Gender agreement in bilingual Norwegian-Russian acquisition: The role of input and transparency.’ Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. DOI:

Rodina, Yulia and Marit Westergaard. 2015. ‘Grammatical gender in Norwegian: Language acquisition and language change.’ Journal of Germanic Linguistics 27, 145–187.

Türker-Van der Heiden, Emel (2009). Formvalg i tospråklige barns muntlige fremstillinger, I: Rita E Hvistendahl (red.), Flerspråklighet i skolen.  Universitetsforlaget.  ISBN 978-82-15-01196-7. Article, 61–67.

Türker-Van der Heiden, Emel (2005). Resisting the grammatical change: Nominal groups in Turkish-Norwegian codeswitching. International Journal of Bilingualism.  ISSN 1367-0069. 9(3&4), s 453–476.

Tags: Multilingual competence
Published Mar. 20, 2019 5:22 PM - Last modified Nov. 22, 2019 11:34 AM


Janne Bondi Johannessen:

(+47) 928 966 34


Detailed list of participants