An investigation into the presence of inherent noun/gender relationships – Abstract

This study will investigate whether people have subconscious connections between specific nouns and genders based on data from both monolingual English speakers and speakers of multiple languages. This will help answer two questions: First, do native speakers of a language with genderless nouns still make connections between certain nouns and genders? Second, do speakers of multiple languages carry their noun-gender connections to a language with genderless nouns? The research will be conducted using an online survey system. Participants will be asked to indicate which language(s) they have experience with and what their level of proficiency is for each. They will then be shown a series of images of nouns and asked to identify which gender they most strongly associate the noun with. The data will be compiled and analyzed in two sets. The data from monolingual English speakers will be compared to look for trends in noun/gender association between the speakers. The noun/gender associations from multilingual participants will be compared to the noun/gender relationships in the other languages they are familiar with.