Plural dominance and the production of determiner-noun phrases in French


  • Beyersmann Elisabeth C
  • Biedermann Britta
  • Alario F.-Xavier
  • Schiller Niels
  • Hameau Solène
  • Lorenz Antje

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In two experiments, we examined the functional locus of plural dominance in the French spoken word production system, where singulars and plurals share the same phonological word form. The materials included singular-dominant (singular more frequent than plural) and plural-dominant nouns (plural more frequent than singular). In Experiment 1, participants were instructed to produce determiner-noun phrases in response to singular and plural depictions of objects. In contrast to the dominance-by-number interaction that is typically observed in English, Dutch and German, the French picture-naming data revealed a main effect of number, but no effect of plural dominance. When participants were instructed to produce determiner-noun phrases in a reading aloud task (Experiment 2), where number is orthographically marked, a number-by-dominance interaction emerged. Our data suggest that plural dominance is encoded at the word form level within the context of recent theories of spoken word production.

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