This study examined whether the brain operations involved during the processing of successive words in multi word noun phrase production take place sequentially or simultaneously. German speakers named pictures while ignoring a written distractor superimposed on the picture (picture-word interference paradigm) using the definite determiner and corresponding German noun. The gender congruency and the phonological congruency (i.e., overlap in first phonemes) between target and distractor were manipulated. Naming responses and EEG were recorded. The behavioural performance replicated both the phonology and the gender congruency effects (i.e., shorter naming latencies for gender congruent than incongruent and for phonologically congruent than incongruent trials). The phonological and gender manipulations also influenced the EEG data. Crucially, the two effects occurred in different time windows and over different sets of electrodes. The phonological effect was observed substantially earlier than the gender congruency effect. This finding suggests that the processing of determiners and nouns during determiner noun phrase production occurs at least partly sequentially. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.