When leaf becomes neuter: Event-related potential evidence for grammatical gender transfer in bilingualism

Lesya Y. Ganushchak, Rinus G. Verdonschot, Niels O. Schiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study addressed the question as to whether grammatical properties of a first language are transferred to a second language. Dutch-English bilinguals classified Dutch words in white print according to their grammatical gender and colored words (i.e. Dutch common and neuter words, and their English translations) according to their color. Both the classifications were made with the same hand (congruent trials) or different hands (incongruent trials). Performance was more erroneous and the error-elated negativity was enhanced on incongruent compared with congruent trials. This effect was independent of the language in which words were presented. These results provide evidence for the fact thatbilinguals may transfer grammatical characteristics oftheir first language to a second language, even when such characteristics are absent in the grammar of the latter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-110
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 16
Externally publishedYes



  • Bilingualism
  • conflict
  • error-related negativity
  • grammatical gender
  • verbal self-monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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