Phaedra Royle

Université de Montréal
Talk Title: 
Adjective agreement in French: Acquisition, Second Language Acquisition, Specific Language Impairment and adult ERP data
Event Type: 
Linguistics Lecture Series
Thursday, November 4, 2010, 9:50 am - 11:10 am
Library W4550


Gender agreement is an important feature of the French language. It occurs on determiners, adjectives, 3rd person pronouns and past participles. Although agreement is important for reference and in morpho-syntactic structures, gender marking is highly idiosyncratic on adjectives. Variable adjectives typically have a ‘floating’ consonant that appears in feminine but not masculine forms. A number of researchers have proposed that word templates or consonant deletion processes can account for these and other phenomena (esp. irregular verbs with final consonants and liaison) in French. I argue, using language acquisition and other psycholinguistic data, that these adjectives are not processed via (morpho)phonological rules but are lexicalized. Extensions to the study of specific language impairment, second language learning and ERPs will be presented.